31 Jul 2014

Foreign-owned boats to adopt NZ law

7:33 pm on 31 July 2014

A bill passed into law by Parliament on Thursday will make foreign-owned fishing boats adopt New Zealand labour and safety laws by 2016.

Scott Gallacher.

Scott Gallacher. Photo: RNZ

The legislation will only allow fishing companies to use foreign charter vessels if they are flying the New Zealand flag - which means they are subject to New Zealand regulations.

The aim is to stop maltreatment and low payment of crews on foreign charter vessels.

It will also mean new powers for the Ministry for Primary Industries, as the deputy director-general Scott Gallacher told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Thursday.

"All vessels ... will comply with all of our laws but, more fundamentally, it means we have jurisdiction to enforce all of the law."

Mr Gallacher said the laws would come into force in May 2016.

The law was prompted by a Ministerial inquiry in 2012 into questionable safety, labour and fishing practices on some foreign-owned vessels.