Labour Issues Spokesperson
23 August 2011
Fishing inquiry should not put needs of abused crew on hold
The terms of reference for the Government’s inquiry into foreign fishing vessels announced today, while welcome, must
not put the needs of the Oyang 75 crew and Shin Ji on hold, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues.
“Those Indonesian seamen still in the country have been forced to flee threats of violence and intimidation at the hands
of their employers while at the same time fighting deportation liability notices. It is essential their evidence and
insights are sought and contribute to the inquiry,” Darien Fenton said.
“The Government must act to ensure the crews of the Oyang 75 and Shin Ji are taken care of and they are not
unceremoniously shunted out of the country before they have been paid their entitlements under New Zealand law.
“While credit for the inquiry can largely be attributed to pressure applied on the Government by the community, labour
rights activists and unions many outstanding issues remain.
“We still face a muddied picture of labour rights, and an inquiry which may not deal with the ramifications for the
industry, including an extensive investigation into New Zealand job losses and strategies for restoring jobs to the
industry as well as whether action will be taken against New Zealand companies who were involved in joint ventures with
“The Government must actively involve the representatives of the 2000 land-based fish industry workers, the Service & Food Workers Union, and work to find a long-term solution that will restore decent jobs in the industry, and also our
reputation as a nation that believes in treating workers fairly.
“Labour will follow the inquiry closely,” Darien Fenton said.