London. UK. / Auckland. New Zealand. At 4 am on June 20 2011, the entire Indonesian crew (32) walked off the Oyang 75 when it berthed in Port Lyttleton, Christchurch. This was the first time, anywhere in the world, an entire crew had walked off a South Korean factory trawler. They had been fishing at sea for only five weeks, on its first outing in New Zealand waters, yet already the crew had had enough of the abuses they had suffered by Korean officers within that short time period.
London. UK. In a historic move, the New Zealand government has updated its Maritime Transport Act 1994 to reflect the effective lobbying undertaken by the New Zealand Seafarer's Welfare Board with the supporting independent report into failures to financially support seafarers and their welfare services by Human Rights at Sea issued in April 2020 with attached Counsel's opinion. The legislative amendment comes into force today.
London, UK. The New Zealand Minister of Transport, the Honourable Michael Wood, has confirmed to Human Rights at Sea the forthcoming legislative change to the Maritime Transport Act for long-term and sustainable funding of seafarer's centres. This follows the international report issued by the charity in April 2020, "New Zealand: Under-Funding of Seafarers’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance” drafted in direct support of the New Zealand Seafarers' Welfare Board's efforts to achieve this change.
London. UK. Human Rights at Sea is pleased to report that the Labour-led New Zealand Government has publicly announced it will fulfil its manifesto pledge and commitment to improve seafarer welfare through funding from the maritime levies triggered by lobbying from the Seafarers Welfare Board and the March 2020 report from HRAS ‘Under funding of Seafarer’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance’.
London. UK. Calls for action on the welfare of crew and fisheries observers at the latest Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting could see new, commission-level action to advance human rights protections.
London. UK. In partnership with the Chair of the New Zealand Seafarers Welfare Board, the Reverend John McLister of the Mission to Seafarers (NZ), Human Rights at Sea is pleased to announce the public policy statement by the New Zealand Government that it intends to amend the Maritime Transport Act 1994 to enable the existing maritime levy to fund the services required for seafarers’ wellbeing.
London. UK. Maritime New Zealand has designated seafarer welfare representatives as 'essential workers' and provided clear advice for port welfare service providers in terms of their role, available support and the access that they can gain to seafarers. Provided to the Seafarer Welfare Board (SWB) of New Zealand the following advice remains extant at the time of writing. Most notably, crews that have been at sea for 14 days are considered to have the same rights as New Zealand citizens.
"The report’s recommendations, which the SWB fully concur with, offer a clear way forward to ensuring that when seafarers arrive in New Zealand ports, they will continue to receive the standard of care and welcome they so richly deserve." London, UK. Following the 16 April publication of the commissioned Human Rights at Sea report New Zealand: Under-Funding of Seafarers’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance and Counsel's Opinion into the sustainability of seafarer welfare centres in New Zealand, the Seafarers Welfare Board for New Zealand has issued a follow-up press release.
“It is not something we can sustain into the future. We desperately need the shipping companies, port authorities and all those who profit from the maritime sector to make some financial contribution to the care of crews coming ashore inNew Zealand.” The Reverend John McLister, Lyttelton, New Zealand. London, UK. / Lyttelton, New Zealand. Today, Human Rights at Sea publishes an independent report and case study into the precarious state of the sustainability of welfare support for seafarers visiting New Zealand ports titled: “New Zealand: Under-Funding of Seafarers’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance”.