End slave-labour conditions in New Zealand waters
  • Petitioned John Key

This petition was delivered to:

Prime Minister
John Key
Fisheries and Aquaculture spokesman
Phil Heatley

End slave-labour conditions in New Zealand waters

    1. Petition by

      Anglican Social Justice and Child Poverty Action Group

New Zealand companies allow the systematic abuse of fishing crews on boats they charter, and face no consequences. The conditions are close to slave labour.

Crews like those on the Mellila 201 and the Oyang 70 endured abusive working conditions every single day; cramped quarters, long shifts, appalling hygiene, no basic health and safety, and physical abuse. For this they still have not been paid.

NZ companies take no action and face no consequences because NZ law does not extend to the foreign boats they charter - even if the boats are in NZ waters. And yet New Zealand claims a clean, ethical reputation.

A recent Ministerial Inquiry has criticised NZ's lack of responsibility. The Inquiry gave a number of recommendations that will stop the abuse. The most important of these is recommendation 12 which will bring boats working for NZ companies under the operation of NZ law.

Please sign this petition telling John Key and Phil Heatley - the New Zealand Prime Minister and fisheries spokesperson - that NZ fish should taste great. Slave caught fish doesn't. End the abuse New Zealand companies profit from. Adopt recommendation 12.


Recent signatures


    1. New Zealand Government moves to 'reflag' foreign chartered fishing boats

      This is a win for the overall campaign. If FCVs are operating under an NZ flag then all NZ labour and health and safety laws apply, and are legally enforceable. This is exactly what we were after. We will still watch for how crew are protected in the changeover time, and how well the new rules are enforced.

    2. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Hanneke Lewthwaite OAMARU, NEW ZEALAND
      • over 2 years ago

      It is so sad that we live in our insulated 'first world' conditions yet our neighbours use our waters to impose horrific conditions upon fellow human beings. I will not eat any fish until this bill is sorted and better conditions are reached!

      • over 2 years ago

      I am shocked that this can happen within our country's jurisdiction. It makes a mockery of our employment laws and undermines their integrity.

    • David Andrew GISBORNE, NEW ZEALAND
      • over 2 years ago

      Any person working in New Zealand waters should be working under the same conditions and standards that all New Zealanders are subject to. If not then they should not have access to our resources.

    • Margaret WiRepa GISBORNE, NEW ZEALAND
      • over 2 years ago

      Conditions foreign labour employed in the NZ fishing industry contreven almost every NZ Health & Safety Employemen Law with the Companies themselves avoiding similar NZ Tax and Fishing Regulation Law. In doing so, NZ is implicit along with preventing a healthy NZ Fishing Employement enviroment. The callousness indifference these Companies have to crew is a mere pale reflection they must have on fish stocks.

      • over 2 years ago

      Slave labour should be abolished and NZ laws should apply to all people who enter NZ territory by whatever means. We need to take responsibility and ensure that there are severe consequences in cases such as this.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.