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New Zealand detains Taiwanese owned bulker for failure to pay crew

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Daiwan Justice is second Wisdom Marine vessel to be detained by New Zealand for failure to pay crew

Maritime New Zealand reports that it detained the Panama-flagged bulk carrier Daiwan Justice on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Lyttelton after a complaint the crew’s\ wages had not been paid for almost four months.

Maritime NZ Southern Regional Compliance Manager Michael Vredenburg said, the detention was lifted later on Saturday after the ship’s operator, Taiwanese company, Wisdom Marine International Limited, paid the crew.

Last year Daiwan Fortune, another Wisdom Marine International ship, was also detained. In both cases, Maritime NZ detained the ship until wages were paid.

Vredenburg said Maritime NZ  isnow considering what compliance actions we may take against Wisdom Marine International.

Maritime NZ took action under the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), which sets out minimum standards for the health, safety and welfare of seafarers, including conditions of employment. It also has provisions for complaints and investigations.

“We acted on information provided to us by the International Transport Workers’ Federation,” Mr Vredenburg said.

A Maritime Officer went on board the vessel to investigate. The Maritime Officer interviewed the ship’s master and crew, inspected documents and found evidence that the crew had not been paid.

When confronted with the evidence the ship’s master admitted the wages had not been paid. The Maritime Officer then took immediate action to detain the vessel.

“Maritime NZ applies maritime law irrespective of the ‘flag’ of the ship and the nationality of the crew,” Vredenburg said.

Foreign-flag vessels must at all times comply with international conventions that New Zealand is party to, and in New Zealand waters within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of the coast, must also comply with New Zealand’s Maritime Transport Act.

Information about the detentions has been shared with other Asia-Pacific countries’ maritime authorities.

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