New Zealand Arrests Wisdom Marine Bulker over Unpaid Wages

bulkerIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

A bulk carrier operated by Taiwanese shipping company Wisdom Marine was detained in New Zealand after a complaint that the crew’s wages had not been paid for almost four months.

The Panama-flagged ship, Daiwan Justice, was detained at Lyttelton on March 2, 2019, Maritime New Zealand said.

The detention was lifted later on March 3 after Wisdom Marine paid the crew, according to Michael Vredenburg, Maritime NZ Southern Regional Compliance Manager.

Last year, Daiwan Fortune, another Wisdom Marine ship, was also put under detention. In both cases, Maritime NZ detained the 2016-built ship until wages were paid.

As informed by Vredenburg, Maritime NZ is now considering what compliance actions it may take against the Taiwanese company.

Maritime NZ took action under the Maritime Labour 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,” Vredenburg said.

After interviewing the ship’s master and crew, inspecting documents and finding evidence that the crew had not been paid, the Maritime Officer detained the vessel.

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

Foreign-flag vessels are obliged to comply with international conventions that New Zealand is party to, and in New Zealand waters within 12 nautical miles of the coast, must also comply with the Maritime Transport Act.

Information about the detentions has been shared with other Asia-Pacific countries’ maritime authorities as part of the regional and international Port State Control (PSC) system that operates in the region under an agreement known as the Tokyo MOU.

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