A good move

Written By: - Date published: 3:40 pm, May 22nd, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: Environment, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The government has correctly bowed to pressure and banned foreign-flagged fishing boats from operating in our waters.

We don’t have too many posts praising this government, and to have 2 today may surprise some.

But credit where it’s due.

The labour, safety and fisheries concerns finally overcame “the bottom line”, and now all boats in our sovereign area will have to conform to our laws.

Decent pay and conditions (and jobs for Kiwis!); lower risk health and safety; and better environmental practices should follow.  All to the benefit of New Zealand and New Zealanders.

Next step: let’s make sure those NZ fishing practices don’t wipe out Maui’s dolphin either…

16 comments on “A good move”

  1. Herodotus 1

    A policy that only has NZ’s best interest from all perspectives.
    Perhaps National has turned a corner and they will base ALL decisions on what is best for NZ !!!! 😉
    We can only hope that this is contagious.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Surely the err was that the deregulating law that allow foreign flagged ships in the first place got past into law. And why would that be. Because in opposition National would not have been interested, and when in government they rush and stack parliamentary oversight processes. So when the Minister says she feels we can retain our standing, all I can do is shake my head, the women is obviously deluding herself if she thinks we have come through this well, now that the shate has hit the fan.

      Its like Pike River, or Earthquake prone homes, or SCF, parliament does not have an upper chamber whose job it is to scrutinize legislation, individuals who have a interest in the long term needs of NZ.
      So no, Government will continue to deregulate other industries and ares, as it re-regulates due to some massive disaster shown up due to poor law making.

  2. As one who remembers seeing the Oyang fishing trawlers in Lyttelton as a kid, I would like to say that it is not before time that the Government has FINALLY decided to do something to improve our reputation on the high seas. I remember reading about the problems that those trawlers got into and I remember walking past them wondering who works in such derelict looking ships. I remember the run ins Oyang Corporation staff had with University of Auckland researchers who were investigating the impact of F.C.V. ships on New Zealand labour law.

    So, not being one of this Government’s fans, I do have to acknowledge that today they have done something right.

  3. Ad 3

    Two wins for lots of workers in a day (even if it takes 4 years); good.

  4. NickS 4

    Wow, it took a US government investigation into slave-labour though to pull this off, and a threaten boycott in the US.

    Then there’s a 4 year “transitioning period”, in which the same old shit will keep happening.

  5. jimgreen 5

    “credit where it’s due”

    Absolutely. National have made a good decision for once and I commend them.

    But just putting my cynical hat on, could this be a little payback for iwi wadeing into the AFFCO dispute? With the stuff going on with the Koreans the iwi’s actions might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  6. KJT 6

    Good move.

    Shock! National has done something good.

    Now I hope they realise the need to extend the same criteria to flag of convenience ships trading on our coast, carrying coastal cargo. Before the next Rena.

    • Jeremy Harris 6.1

      99% (by weight) of NZ import/export freight is carried by container ship.

      Almost all the container ships that visit NZ use Panama/Bahamas/Liberian/Marshall Island, etc flagged ships.

      If you passed a law that stated all container ships must be NZ flagged you would completely – completely – crater NZ’s economy overnight. MSC, Evergreen, CMA CGM, etc aren’t going to re-register ships worth hundreds of millions of dollars for a market of 4 million people.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        Why is it that RWNJ’s can’t read.
        I said ships carrying coastal cargo, like the Australians are planning. Which would cut the coastal transits by FOC ships a lot, decreasing the risk. As well as ensuring seagoing jobs for young New Zealanders.

        Requiring all the overseas FOC ships visiting to reflag is obviously not practical without international support.

        Though we can actually get serious about working conditions, rest hours and safety standards, under the port State inspection regime. Like the USA.

        Do you realise a FOC bulk carrier is lost almost every week. Though, that is only sailors dying, so who cares.

        • Jeremy Harris

          KJT I can read and I’ve worked in this industry, you cited the MV Rena – an international container vessel, so it was perfectly reasonable for me to assume that you were referring to such vessels. Vessels moving cargo domestically are referred to as being in the “Coastal Shipping” industry, not coastal cargo, that reads like you are referring to any ship carrying cargo near the coast, including vessels like the MV Rena.

          Now that I’ve corrected your terminology let me disabuse you of other incorrect notions in that head of yours:

          Which would cut the coastal transits by FOC ships a lot, decreasing the risk.

          There is no certainty NZ re-flagged foreign ships would be safer than foreign flagged vessels, after all the only thing that would have changed is the flag, and the applicable law. The boat, sea conditions, etc. are still the same. Or do you think flags magically change the weather conditions?

          As well as ensuring seagoing jobs for young New Zealanders.

          Again no, foreigners would still have the jobs but NZ law would be applicable to that employment.

          Do you realise a FOC bulk carrier is lost almost every week. Though, that is only sailors dying, so who cares.

          Here you are talking about globally right? And you think your socialist agenda will stop sea-going from being dangerous? Or was this a weak attempt at that old dead horse of trying to ascribe to someone you’re debating a view they don’t hold?

          • KJT

            You obviously haven’t worked at sea, or you would know what I am saying.

            The Rena was carrying coastal cargo. Something many countries do not allow.

            Sea going is nowadays much more dangerous.

            The only reason for FOC’s is to get around first world safety, pay and working condition rules.

            Haven’t you seen the huge difference in accident statistics between white list flag ships and FOC’s.

            Though, unfortunately, RW pricks like you are happy to see the original flag States dropping standards as well, to compete. To the detriment of seafarers health and safety. Not to mention the environmental dangers.

            And you should ask for the money back from the private school that “supposedly” taught you to read. Too much to expect an RWNJ, authoritarian follower, to think.

  7. Adele 7

    From my reading of the matter it means that foreign flagged boats will have to ‘reflag’ in order to fish NZ waters and that there will be a four year transistioning period to allow them to do so. The reflaging will bring the boats into the jurisdiction of NZ legislation and make them subject to a more stringent compliance regime.

    I cannot see how Iwi interests will be negatively impacted by this decision as their greatest concern was not being able to fish quota at all. Not only will Iwi Māori continue fishing quota they will do so with the assurance that NZ legislation will be rigorously applied and enforced to protect foreign crews from exploitation.

    This decision is similar to requiring the Australian banks to also incorporate in NZ as a protective mechanism for bank customers.

    • Gareth 7.1

      Basically it will mean more work for less profit. You won.t be able to hire a slave boat and claim ignorance as the cash roles in. instead workers will be paid fairly and will work to our laws. Long overdue improvement….

  8. RedLogix 8

    Yup…full credit where it’s due. It’s a shame to have to quibble about the four year lead in… but this is the right thing. Interesting online Stuff poll today with 10,000 votes and 95% in favour. I think I’ve rarely seen such a one-sided result.

  9. Adele

    These current fishing vessels will never be NZ flagged.
    Firstly they will not pass a NZ Maritime Survey. They are of such a poor standard (ie rustbuckets) that no surveyor will pass them – goodbye to them.
    The problem really is where will the quota holders go for vessels. There are a few currently operating who already qualify.
    But many more will be required.
    And what will the cost be – will not be an easy, but worthy, task

    • KJT 9.1

      Build them in Nelson, Lyttelton, Timaru and Whangarei. As we have in the past.

      More expensive than in China but much cheaper to maintain and will last twice as long.

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