Clarification needed on MIQ for New Zealand crews

The union representing New Zealand seafarers is asking the Government to provide more clarity around MIQ rules for crews working in international waters.

Maritime Union Wellington Branch Secretary Jim King says MUNZ members can’t understand the logic of a decision to make them stay isolated on their ship.

18 New Zealand seafarers aboard the MMA Vision, managed by New Plymouth-based Kingston Offshore Services, have been on board the vessel in international waters.

The crew returned negative COVID-19 tests before spending 19 days working at sea, but have been denied an MIQ exemption.

Mr King says there is no obvious reason for the crew members to be isolated as they had not been in contact with anyone else.

“The Maritime Union fully supports strong measures to protect everyone from COVID-19, but in this case it seems the rules need reviewing.”

He says there is some confusion about the apparent different treatment of crew members on the interisland ferry Aratere, which recently returned from Sydney after maintenance at the dry dock.

Mr King says consistency is essential.

The MMA Vision had been undertaking survey work of the sea floor for the new Southern Cross Cable, a major project to increase New Zealand’s internet capacity.

The Maritime Union was awaiting a response from maritime authorities on the issue.


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