Taiwanese vessel detained in New Zealand for not paying crew

Daiwan Justice while detained at Lyttelton, New Zealand Image: MarineTraffic.com/KDT Daiwan Justice while detained at Lyttelton, New Zealand

Maritime NZ detained the Panama-flagged bulk carrier Daiwan Justice (pictured) on Saturday, March 2, at Lyttelton after a complaint that the crews’ 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, Wisdom Marine International of Taiwan, 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.

Mr Vredenburg said Maritime NZ is now considering what compliance actions may be taken against Wisdom Marine International.

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.

A maritime officer went on board the vessel to investigate. The 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.

Mr Vredenburg said Maritime NZ applies maritime law irrespective of the ship’s flag of registry and the nationality of the crew.

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 of the coast, must also comply with the Maritime Transport Act.

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