11 Jul 2011

Inquiries begin after Korean crew claims ill-treatment

8:12 pm on 11 July 2011

New Zealand government departments are investigating a Korean fishing trawler docked at Lyttelton Port amid claims the crew have been underpaid and ill-treated.

Thirty-two Indonesian crew members of the Oyang 75 walked off the ship almost three weeks ago.

The Department of Labour has interviewed the crew and is assessing material gathered.

The Ministry of Fisheries has also launched an investigation, as has Maritime New Zealand, which has detained the ship after a number of deficiencies were picked up.

A lawyer for the Oyang Corporation says the crew have been paid to the Jakarta-based agency the men are signed up with.

Mike Sullivan says the crew are in a pay dispute with that agent, but Oyang is not willing to pay them twice.

Mr Sullivan says he and his client are yet to see information or evidence on the claims of ill-treatment.

The Oyang 75 replaced the Oyang 70 which sank off the coast of Dunedin in August last year with the loss of six people on board.