WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

NGOs, Unions, Maritime on both sides of Tasman unite to help Seafarers

WelCom October 2017: A multi-organisational group representing both sides of the Tasman met in Wellington in mid-July to discuss and agree to improving services to seafarers, fishers and their families in the South West Pacific.

Initiated by the Apostleship of the Sea (AOSNZ) – also known internationally as Stella Maris – the group representing both side of the Tasman is made up of the Anglican Mission to Seafarers and Stella Maris and also included the seafarers’ unions and governmental maritime authorities in both countries.

Fr Jeff Drane, a member of AOSNZ and the maritime group, said the focus on this collaboration will be on safety of vessels, food and water, reasonable lighting and comfort, loading and cargo safety, fair pay and enhanced well-being of all seafarers.

‘Social justice will be our group’s main concern, because 95 per cent of all world trade is by shipping. So our collaboration is even more important,’ he said.

Despite different origins and perspectives, Fr Drane says, ‘this is now the right time to cooperate on behalf of some of the most exploited workers on the planet, in the spirit of the Maritime Labour Convention in 2006, intended to clean up our oceans and seas.’