Seafarers and community supporters will gather for a peaceful informational rally outside the Wellington Railway Station from 11am Thursday 20 April 2023.
Facebook event https://fb.me/e/4hgrzfTGC
Maritime Union of New Zealand Wellington Branch Secretary Jim King says seafarers will be raising awareness about giant global shipping company Maersk cancelling the Coastal Connect container service which linked New Zealand ports.
Two New Zealand crewed ships Maersk Nadi and Maersk Nansha had been in service for less than a year before being cancelled, says Mr King.
The rally follows on from a recent event at the Port of Nelson.
Mr King says the Maersk decision resulted the loss of up to sixty jobs of crew members who had given up other jobs to work on Maersk vessels, and more disruption of New Zealand supply chains.
He says supply chain issues are why goods are taking so long to be imported, exported, and moved around New Zealand.
Mr King says building up dedicated New Zealand coastal shipping is an efficient, low emissions mode of keeping New Zealand moving.
New Zealand coastal shipping would protect New Zealand from disruptions to the supply chain such as experienced during the COVID pandemic and the extreme weather events earlier in 2023.
Mr King says the Maritime Union is proposing several measures:
- Changes to the Maritime Transport Act to prioritize New Zealand flagged and crewed ships on the New Zealand coast.
- Government support for a New Zealand owned coastal shipping operator to provide priority service for New Zealand ports and industry.
- Training and high quality employment opportunities for New Zealanders in our own maritime industry.