July 31, 2013
Foreign charter vessels exemption appalling
The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is backing calls from the CTU this morning that boats fishing under settlement quota should not exempted from proposed requirements for foreign charter vessels.
A Fisheries Amendment Bill before Parliament would require the reflagging from 2016 of all foreign charter vessels to New Zealand while operating in New Zealand’s EEZ.
However a select committee report on the Bill recommended that a four year exemption be granted to vessels for which a significant proportion of their catch is derived from settlement quota.
“The fisheries Treaty settlement was important in addressing past wrongs against Maori in New Zealand. But to allow for the continuing exploitation of a group of workers is also wrong,” said Wayne Butson, General Secretary, Rail and Maritime Transport Union.
“Our members on the Ports have witnessed the appalling conditions on some of these foreign charter vessels when they come in and dock, and as an affiliate of the International Transport Workers Federation we have been involved in supporting exploited foreign workers who have managed to escape their boats after abuse.”
“Our union has no problem with there being reconsideration of the impact of these changes on the 1992 Sealord settlement, but that should be treated entirely separately to the bill before Parliament right now,” he said.