NZ to ratify Maritime Labour Convention

  • Craig Foss
  • Michael Woodhouse
Workplace Relations and Safety Transport

New Zealand will ratify the Maritime Labour Convention to ensure fair treatment of seafarers and protect the reputation of New Zealand exports, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss announced today.

The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 is an international treaty adopted by the International Labour Organisation.  It sets minimum standards for the health, safety and welfare of seafarers on commercial vessels.

“Ratifying the Convention gives New Zealand the power to inspect and verify that crew on foreign ships carrying New Zealand goods are treated fairly and within internationally accepted standards,” Mr Woodhouse says.

It will also protect the reputation of New Zealand exports.

“This is important, given more than 99 percent of New Zealand’s export goods are transported by foreign ships,” Mr Foss says.

“The Convention was developed in partnership with ship owners and seafarers, making the cost, impacts and risks of ratification minimal. This partnership ensures the Convention’s minimum standards reflect current industry practice and can be easily met by most ship-owners.

“New Zealand law, which applies to New Zealand registered ships, is already largely consistent with the Convention. Only minor or technical changes are required, with no material impact or cost.”

The Convention will apply to about 890 foreign commercial cargo and cruise ships visiting New Zealand annually and approximately 31 New Zealand ships.

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