NZ ratifies Maritime Labour Convention

  • Michael Woodhouse
  • Craig Foss
Transport Workplace Relations and Safety

New Zealand has ratified the International Labour Organisation’s 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 is an international treaty adopted by the International Labour Organisation.  It sets minimum standards to address the health, safety and welfare of seafarers on commercial vessels.

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

“This includes medical care, health and safety protection, accommodation, food and water, repatriation, and employment conditions.

“The Government has worked together with New Zealand ship owners and seafarers throughout the ratification process, with support from Business NZ and NZCTU, to ensure current industry practice reflects the convention’s minimum standards.”

Mr Foss says ratifying the convention will also protect the reputation of New Zealand exports.

“This is important given more than 99 per cent of New Zealand’s export goods by volume are transported on foreign ships.

“New Zealand law applying to New Zealand registered ships is already largely consistent with the convention. Only minor or technical changes are required. They are not expected to have any material impact or cost,” Mr Foss says.

The Convention will come into force 9 March 2017. It will apply to about 890 foreign commercial cargo and cruise ships visiting New Zealand annually, and approximately 30 New Zealand ships.

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