Ship detained in New Zealand over USD77,700 unpaid wages

Port of Lyttelton, NZ Credit: Tony Stewart / Photoshots Ltd

New Zealand port state control is considering whether to prosecute Taiwanese Wisdom company Marine International Limited after uncovering a second case of crew on one of its vessel being owed wages.

The Panamanian flagged bulk carrier Daiwan Justice was detained in the port of Lyttelton on 2 March after Maritime NZ responded to a tip off that the crew had gone without their wages four consecutive months – from November 2018 to February 2019, a Maritime NZ spokesperson told SAS, yesterday.

“We acted on information provided to us by the International Transport Workers’ Federation,” Maritime NZ Southern regional compliance manager Michael Vredenburg said in a statement.

After boarding the vessel to investigate, the Maritime NZ inspector interviewed the ship’s master and crew, inspected documents and found evidence that the wages had not been paid.

It was not until the master was confronted with the evidence that he admitted the breach.  Maritime NZ detained the ship until Wisdom Marine provided crew all wages owed.

Vredenburg said that as this was the second time the company had been found in breach of the Maritime Labour Convention in a New Zealand port, further action was under consideration.

Last year Dalwan Fortune, another Wisdom Marine international ship, was also detained  in New Zealand for failing to pay crew wages.

Under NZ port state control policy repeat offenders or those found guilty of serious breaches can face court action.

“Maritime NZ has a range of compliance and enforcement actions it can take ranging from education through to prosecution,” a spokesperson told SAS. “Decisions about what approach to take are made in accordance with our statutory powers, circumstances and relevant facts.”