Immigration officials are investigating allegations about employment conditions onboard a fishing vessel docked in Timaru Port.
The investigation follows a tip from a Government-issued Fishery Observer, who says there are issues with vessel safety, excessive hours of crew work and false crew records.
There are 21 Indonesian crew on the Korean-flagged boat, named the Sur Este 707.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and representatives from the Police and Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) ran an operation on the boat yesterday morning.
MNZ took immediate steps to ensure the boat could operate safely.
INZ General Manager Steve Stuart says officials are taking the allegations “very seriously”.
“The Ministry will not hesitate to take decisive action if the allegations are substantiated,” he says.
In May, the Government announced that all foreign-owned boats operating in New Zealand waters must be reflagged to New Zealand over a four year period – meaning they must follow the full range of New Zealand law.