ON 18 May the SFWU launched a petition with the support of the Maori Party, Labour Party and Green Party, calling for an inquiry into the fishing industry.
The petition, which has the support of the Maori Party, the Labour Party and the Green Party calls on the House of Representatives to conduct an inquiry into the New Zealand Fishing Industry's relationship with foreign fishing companies, foreign crewing of Joint Ventures, chartered and New Zealand fishing vessels, and its effects on sustainable fishing practices, employment, and the relevant communities within New Zealand.
Photo: Nick Roberts
The SFWU is proud to represent members in the fishing industry, both land based and at sea.
Job security and growth is a priority for our union in this industry.
We represent over 2000 members in the seafood and ancillary industries throughout New Zealand.
Following the failure of the Fishing Industry Guild to (in our view) offer appropriate representation, the SFWU is now happy to offer the opportunity to fishers to join the SFWU. By joining our union you have guaranteed representation in any port in New Zealand.
We currently have members on the Sealord boats Independent 1 and Otakou.
Our union is also extremely supportive of the campaign around taxing joint venture fishing boats and foreign crew currently being run by an organisation called K-iwi who can be directly contacted via their website.
As a union we have launched parliamentary select committee enquiry into the fishing industry in particular the crewing of joint venture, charter and NZ fishing boats buy foreign crew. Read more here and download the petition.
We also are seeking an enquiry into the affects joint venture has on the stability of the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (NZEEZ) and the communities reliant on fishing to sustain their existence.
We know that we have the best results when we stand together united.
To join the SFWU phone MEMBER SUPPORT on 0800 UNION1 (0800 864661).
We feature regular news about the industry in our union magazine Our Voice. Copies of recent articles about Sealord can be read here:
The SFWU supports the K-iwi campaign
NZ Fishing: Keep it K-iwi is a movement by New Zealanders (Kiwi and Iwi) who believe that the NZ Exclusive Economic Zone out to 200 nautical miles from NZ landmass, is not delirvering maximum benefit from our fisheries to the Nation. Foreign vessels, foreign crews and offshore processing are depriving Kiwis of seagoing and processing jobs and associated support service jobs to the seafood industry. Meanwhile our communities deteriorate, crime rises while kiwis are denied the dignity of employment and forced to languish on the dole. The 2000 foreign crew don’t pay tax here and to make it worse the Government loses millions each year through PAYE not being collected from Kiwi wages. This means a greater tax burden on fewer taxpayers (You!). We need to change the operating framework for fisheries so that greater benefit falls to NZ as a whole and not just the 9 companies that use cheap foreign fishing labour. In 10 years time we may have lost succession of fishing skills and be locked into the slavery of having to use foreign crews. From our polls, 95% of Kiwis want New Zealanders to catch the 250,000 metric tonnes of fish the foreign crews currently catch EACH YEAR! Kiwis being a silent majority has proven to be useless in addressing this problem - YOU MUST ACT NOW if you want change! Take personal responsibility for using each opportunity to promote change. Go online at www.nzfishing.net.nz and have your say or for more information. Write a letter to the local newspaper. Tell your local MP what you want and make them respond in writing. Tell the Minister of Fisheries and PM. It will be great if you can send us copies of the correspondence. Together we can change the framework, return some strength and pride to our communities and reduce the tax burden. Thank you, NZ Fishing: Keep it K-iwi.
The SFWU believes that:
ˇ The current tax laws that allow joint venture and foreign crew to make money out of our fishing resources and pay no tax must be changed as a priority (especially given that they are being employed in preference to NZ fishing companies and crews because they are cheaper to employ).
ˇ There is a strong case to ban foreign Joint venture companies and crew working in our EEZ
ˇ It's way past time that we as a country put the rights of New Zealanders first and that New Zealanders started demanding it.