The Maritime Union is opposing the decision by the coalition Government to send a detachment of New Zealand military to the Red Sea, after a request from the United States of America.
Shipping in the Red Sea has recently been disrupted by Yemen based Houthi forces carrying out attacks in support of Palestine.
Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says if the New Zealand Government is concerned about shipping security, there are better places to start.
“The Government just cancelled replacement ferries for the Cook Strait, which is a major threat to New Zealand transport links, so they should try dealing with problems a bit closer to home.”
He says if the Government is serious about protecting New Zealand trade it must rebuild New Zealand shipping to provide resilience and redundancy in the supply chain.
Mr Harrison says the Red Sea maritime conflict had one solution, which was an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and negotiation of a political solution for Palestine.
He says the military involvement by the United States and a small group of Western countries in the Red Sea area could result in more violence and instability.
“Rather than trying to ramp up a war, New Zealand should spend its energies working for peace by defusing the conflict and ending the mass death of civilians especially with the terrible situation in Gaza.”
“As a union representing seafarers we are extremely concerned about the danger all seafarers are facing in the Red Sea, and in the meantime the only option is for shipping to avoid the area.”
The Maritime Union said the response of the Labour Party and Green Party opposing involvement was the correct one.