Where are the fishing industry jobs for young New Zealanders?

The Maritime Union says the fishing industry must provide well paid jobs for New Zealand workers rather than relying on overseas labour.

The Union was responding to yesterdays (Thursday 7 March) announcement of the first reflagging of a foreign charter vessel under the New Zealand flag, following a Ministerial Inquiry into the fishing industry.

Maritime Union National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the Union agreed the reflagging was a basic step but this was not a time for celebration.

There was no indication of any serious attempt to get more opportunities for New Zealand workers in the industry.

“We have tens of thousands of unemployed young people in New Zealand and they deserve a chance to get the benefit from resources that belong to all of us.”

Mr Fleetwood says youth unemployment was a social catastrophe in New Zealand and the Government needed to build a career pathway for young people into our fishing industry.

He says that recent incidents and convictions for illegal activities by foreign flagged vessels showed that an industry cleanup was “just beginning”.

“There is a long way to go to even begin to get this industry in shape.”

Mr Fleetwood says the damage has already been done to the international reputation of New Zealand fisheries.

“More importantly, we look back at a decade in which Government avoided dealing with systemic and flagrant abuses in the industry that have caused immense harm to many people.”

He says the Maritime Union would continue to assist overseas crews and promote seafarers rights as an affiliate of the International Transport Workers Federation.

4 thoughts on “Where are the fishing industry jobs for young New Zealanders?

  • March 17, 2013 at 2:50 am

    thats the pot calling the kettle black,especially when most merchant ships around nz are manned by phillipinos and indonesians.

    • March 17, 2013 at 5:53 am

      Your comment makes no sense given that the Maritime Union has consistently campaigned and argued for a New Zealand based shipping industry including cabotage, which would ensure jobs for NZ seafarers.

      New Zealand workers have a right to secure well paid employment in their industry. Overseas workers also have the right to decent conditions when they are employed within NZ waters, if there is a need for them, as opposed to current situation where they are exploited by unscrupulous employers to undermine wages and conditions to the lowest common denominator.

  • March 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

    yes they maynot make sense ,but it is a reality in nz.the maritime and fishing industrys would rather have overseas workers here as they are happy to work for a pittance.mnz with their new deck watch rating certificate has made it virtually impossible for any young or old person in nz to obtain this certificate,so both industrys are going to have to accept that they will have 90% foreign crews its just a matter of time.the only kiwis that will be able to get jobs here are the ones that go overseas to do their qualifications.

    • March 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Matthew there is obviously massive pressure from employers to make use of (short term/casual) overseas labour to drive down wages and conditions. As you say the shipping industry and the fishing industry have pushed this.
      However this problem isn’t just in the NZ maritime industry, it is the global maritime industry and also other industries in NZ. It is a major issue in Australia at the moment.
      The Maritime Union is continuing to press for jobs for new zealand workers in the maritime and fishing industries, if there are going to be overseas workers in the industry, they would have to be employed on proper terms and conditions, and of course if this was the case the demand would dry up as employers are simply looking for cheap labour to exploit.
      Likewise MUNZ is arguing the case for NZ workers with qualifications etc.
      I hope this answers your question, if you are concerned about jobs in the NZ maritime industry so is the Union.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: