Slavery in our seas banned

August 1st, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

In its last act before the elections, Parliament today outlawed the practices behind slave-like fishing practices in New Zealand waters.

From May 2016, foreign charter fishing vessels (FCV) – some of which have committed human rights and labour abuses – will have to fly New Zealand flags and obey New Zealand laws.

This is excellent. I’ve written many times on this subject, demanding change. I was delighted when the Government announced they would requite ships catching NZ quota to be flagged in NZ, and it is great to see that decision given legislative force.

The abuses on some FCVs were horrendous – sexual abuse, near indenture, wages with illegal deductions. These may still happen in some areas, but no longer in NZ waters by boats catching NZ quota.

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13 Responses to “Slavery in our seas banned”

  1. kowtow (8,512 comments) says:

    I don’t see why we made it a New Zealand problem.

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  2. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    That’s because you lack basic humanity kowtow.

    Just because I’m not one of the slaves, it doesn’t follow that I have no problem with slavery.

    I think it is bloody good that foreign industries working here have to abide by the same basic standards that are required of New Zealand’s own citizens.

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  3. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    Somebody put the hard word on Peter Goodfellow to bite the bullet, then? He’s done very well out of slavery, this must have come as a real blow from his colleagues…

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  4. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    I don’t see why we made it a New Zealand problem.

    We made it a New Zealand problem when we allowed NZ companies to profit from slavery, and the “why” part is kind of inherent in the word ‘profit.’

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  5. trout (939 comments) says:

    Iwi pleaded for fishing quota so that they could create jobs for young Maori. However it turned out to be easier (and more profitable) to lease quota to Companies that used rust bucket fishing boats and slave labour. Iwi do not want to stop this arrangement and have demanded a dispensation from the new laws so that the practice can continue. Perhaps DPF can enlighten us as to whether they have been granted such a dispensation, and for how long.

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  6. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    There shouldn’t be any fishing boats in NZ waters not catching NZ quota…

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  7. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    @rouppe: presumably some fish in international waters but refuel in NZ?

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  8. Albert_Ross (298 comments) says:

    It would be lovely to think that this will mean higher employment standards will be adopted by such vessel owners, at their own expense, so that life will improve for their workers.

    But it’s more likely to mean (a) some will stop fishing in NZ waters, thus reducing employment opportunities for those for whom this really is their best option – aren’t they unfortunate enough already? – and (b) costs go up for those who do still fish NZ waters and therefore the price of NZ fish will go up, increasing costs for consumers and making NZ exports less competitive.

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  9. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    But the question has to be asked: How will anyone know, and how will it be policed?

    Just a thought….

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  10. MH (762 comments) says:

    Fisheries protection officers and research personnel can become attached to some of these vessels. Depends on how their catch is marketed and packaged if landed here at all.

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  11. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    A good move long overdue, but three more questions for the fishing industry:

    1. Why aren’t NZ fishing companies doing more to promote jobs for young NZ’ers? I’m thinking especially of Sealord, which is half owned by Nippon Suisan Kaisha, of Japan, with the other half owned by several Maori tribes. For example, unemployed young Maori in the regions, with no local jobs, would make excellent crews for ocean trawlers. Just give them the chance to train.

    2. Why are some NZ fishing companies joining the huge and growing fleet of subsidised Chinese trawlers which are sweeping out the tuna resources of Pacific Island nations and adjacent waters. Why aren’t Maori and other NZ fishing interests speaking up about this economic vandalism? Apart from Fairfax reporter Mike Field, who was talking today on Radio NZ about the tuna sweeping, who else is making us aware of the looting of this huge resource.

    3. Are the ocean fishing companies moving to replace coastal fishing supplies for NZ fast-food outlets (chiefly fish and chip shops) as the environmentalists increasingly restrict coastal commercial fishing with net bans and other prohibitions? The alternative to coastal fish shouldn’t be restricted to imported fish from Vietnamese fish farms, with their chemicals and purity standards.

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  12. IC5000 (114 comments) says:

    “trout (904 comments) says:
    August 1st, 2014 at 2:00 pm
    Iwi pleaded for fishing quota so that they could create jobs for young Maori. However it turned out to be easier (and more profitable) to lease quota to Companies that used rust bucket fishing boats and slave labour. Iwi do not want to stop this arrangement and have demanded a dispensation from the new laws so that the practice can continue. Perhaps DPF can enlighten us as to whether they have been granted such a dispensation, and for how long.”

    It this statutory carveout based on the Iwi’s standing as Maori is it available to any party with a fishing quota? If is is based on the former then as idiotic and vile as Jamie Whyte’s attack on Maori having legal privileges equivalent to the French aristocracy then he could have made an interesting point here.

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  13. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    I can see a bright new future just over the horizon when Whangarei and New Plymouth shipyards are flat out building new tonnage to be manned by young Murri taking up their rightful places as the sons of Maui providing Kaimoana to the starving masses of Otara and Cannons Creek! :)

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