The Maritime Union says it is not satisfied with the response from shipping company Maersk over its navigation systems on two ships last week, and will be laying a complaint with Maritime NZ.
Yesterday, the Maritime Union released correspondence between a ship spotter at Ports of Auckland and Maritime New Zealand, indicating Maersk had interfered with the navigation systems of two ships entering Auckland last week.
Joe Fleetwood, Maritime Union General Secretary, said that the response the Port worker received from Maritime NZ when it was raised on March 2 reads (emphasis added):
“Subsequent to your query regarding the captioned matter, we have raised concern to the operator of both vessels. The operator confirms that the AIS system on both vessels is in good working order. The masters are now aware of this issue and have put the AIS system back into service.”
“The Maritime NZ response to the Port worker makes it absolutely clear that the AIS systems were in good working order, but had to be put ‘back into service’.”
“Maersk also confirmed yesterday that their AIS navigation systems were fully functional.”
“Given this, for their ships not to turn up for several hours in the AIS navigational tracking, says to us that they were deliberately turned off.”
“We await a response from Maersk that properly accounts for these discrepancies,” Joe Fleetwood said.
“In the meantime, it is our view that Maritime New Zealand needs to commence a detailed investigation to get to the bottom of this.”