Tag Archives: come in

Cruise ships refuse entry to low-fuel NZ with a storm on the horizon | Instant News


The Le Laperouse cruises are operated by Ponant Cruises. Photo / Provided

By RNZ

A cruise ship veering off New Zealand is now stuck off the coast of New Caledonia, running low on fuel with a significant storm approaching and no permission to dock.

Le Laperouse has an economic exemption for coming to New Zealand for cruise season, but was denied entry last week after Immigration denied 61 of its 90 crew visas because they were not considered essential workers.

The government says the ship left Jakarta before its documents were processed, but the ship’s owner believed that and the crew was given permission to come.

The Ponant Lines Le Laperouse cruise ship docked in Wellington after dropping off the remaining passengers in March 2020. Photo / Melissa Nightingale
The Ponant Lines Le Laperouse cruise ship docked in Wellington after dropping off the remaining passengers in March 2020. Photo / Melissa Nightingale

Ponant Cruises Asia Pacific boss Sarina Bratton told Checkpoint that the ship had traveled 3,600 nautical miles to get to New Zealand.

“We’re trying to get into Noumea, it’s a difficult situation …, and we’re still very short on fuel.

“We have spoken with [New Zealand] Department of Immigration regarding the lack of people who have adequate safety training certification in New Zealand.

“We have been in touch with several recruitment agencies, delivery agencies, superyachts, trying to identify how many, if any, New Zealanders could be available for work,” he said.

“We have been operating in New Zealand on a seasonal basis for the last seven years. And our crew composition has not changed. This is the same as for the last seven years. Our application through the Ministry of Health clearly speaks of crew size.

“It also provides us with full national breakdowns for all the crew on board.

“We were not aware of the requirements to have an approved visa before leaving for New Zealand.

“Our New Zealand port agents who handle all our affairs and handle all commercial vessels entering and exiting New Zealand, through Covid-19 are also not used to it.

“So, it wasn’t until we got closer… we were told they would approve the technical crew, but they would not approve the hotel crew.”

Bratton said he thought there had been a “disconnect” between government departments about the application.

He said the denial had cost the shipping company an estimated $ 1.6 million, and could be more expensive.

“We have a letter of approval from the Ministry of Health and it says that crew members need a proper visa before arriving in New Zealand. It doesn’t say before you go anywhere and come to New Zealand.”

He believes every crew member on the ship is an important worker.

“Each crew member has specific responsibilities for safety management.

“So whoever comes, they need to be trained on what their responsibilities are. We told the Immigration Department that we would try to find and maybe we could get around 20 New Zealand crew, if we were lucky.

Cruise in Napier Harbor in January 2020. Photo / Warren Buckland
Cruise in Napier Harbor in January 2020. Photo / Warren Buckland

“We have posted an ad, in the newspapers over the weekend in New Zealand. We have spoken to many recruitment agencies, and we were not very lucky.

“I have notified New Zealand Immigration about the situation, we have been in contact over the weekend. And I am just waiting to hear back to see if they have the flexibility for the ship to arrive and operate as normal.”

He said he was concerned about the safety of the crew of the Le Laperouse because of low fuel and nowhere to dock.

“Now this morning we are informed that a typhoon is starting towards New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

“Whenever there is bad weather you can stay away from it, but we are in a very low fuel situation. Hopefully it doesn’t go that way.”

Immigration New Zealand said on Monday it had no further updates regarding Le Laperouse, other than to confirm that they continue to engage with Ponant to discuss their options.

Maritime graduate, Air NZ cabin crew could just fill the role – Maritime Union

Maritime Union assistant secretary Craig Harrison told Checkpoint he was shocked by the news about the cruise ship.

“I think the company went to the stakeholders earlier in the year, and the industry, and told them they wanted to get off the ship. There could be some work being done to find workers to fill that void.

“For example masseurs, hairdressers, and catering crews… There are many young workers working part time and casual jobs like Interisland Ferry and Strait Shipping who are eager to get into this industry.

“And just think of the workers who have been stranded at Air New Zealand, if possible there is funding through Covid-19 and working with maritime schools to get some qualifications even those people try and fill this void on board.”

With sufficient notice, he said, such positions could have been filled on the ship by New Zealand staff.

“We are eager to promote young New Zealanders to the opportunity to be part of the solution.”

Harrison says the safety certifications required are the same qualifications required to work on the Cook Strait ferry.

“Catering staff, cooks and various crew have this qualification.

“Unless there’s something really special about the ship, which would take me by surprise, besides, you have engineers, officers and what we call deck crews.”

He said if Ponant had a direct approach to the maritime industry to help find crew members, the industry would be able to help.

“If you talk to maritime schools, you will find these young New Zealanders going through those schools now. They are struggling to get a position on the ship, and they have completed a lot of that basic course.”

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Rare weather: Three tropical cyclones follow north of NZ | Instant News


The next two months are peak season for tropical cyclones, says WeatherWatch.co.nz. Photo / Provided

Three so-called tropical cyclones are tracking north of New Zealand today as the southwest Pacific enters peak hurricane season.

WeatherWatch said tripling cyclone deployment was a rare event, although New Zealand was not directly affected due to persistent high-pressure mountains across much of the country this week.

The first, Typhoon Ana, hit Fiji yesterday and looks set to track into open water starting at 8.30 this morning.

A severe Category 3 storm hit Fiji with gusts of 140 km / h and heavy rain over the weekend, killing a 49-year-old man and leaving five others missing.

Typhoon Ana is named by the Fiji Met Service.  Photo / Provided
Typhoon Ana is named by the Fiji Met Service. Photo / Provided

The missing included a 3-year-old boy, according to the RNZ report.

Tropical cyclones are categorized in strengths from 1 to 5, with 5 being the strongest.

Ana is unlikely to directly impact New Zealand but a former typhoon this weekend may bring about tougher east coast conditions.

The second hurricane, Typhoon Bina, is expected to bring more rain and wind to Fiji’s main islands in the next 24 hours but remains a category 1 system.

WeatherWatch says it’s very rare for two tropical cyclones to affect a country in two days.

The third, Typhoon Lucas, was in the Coral Sea moving eastward towards Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

A category 2 hurricane is expected to hit the New Caledonia Loyalty Islands by Wednesday.

Forecasters said New Zealand was not directly affected by the three cyclones as strong high pressure dominated the country in the first half of February.

But some rain and easterly winds may develop in northern New Zealand as the waves, waves and ripples increase in the east.

The tropical cyclone season in the southwest Pacific officially begins in November and lasts until the end of April.

On average, at least one former tropical cyclone passes within 550 km of New Zealand each year, said MetService and the Niwa National Institute of Environmental Sciences.

Significant rainfall, extreme winds, dangerous sea conditions and damage to beaches are all possible ahead of and during this event.

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Covid 19 coronavirus: The Le Lapérouse cruise ship refuses to enter NZ waters | Instant News


Travel

A luxury expedition cruise ship “hovering” off New Zealand waters has been detained at the border because most of its crew has been denied visas.

According to the tour operator, Le Lapérouse’s crew had prior approval from the Ministry of Health to enter New Zealand.

Le Lapérouse is a 264 passenger ship operated by the Ponant shipping company.

The ship was granted an economic exemption on December 18 to operate New Zealand’s special shipping season from February 8, but the vessel is now being held at sea pending further decisions.

The owners of French shipping company Ponant said they had been granted an exemption last year to operate local expeditions with a maximum of 100 New Zealand guests at a time.

A company spokesman Michael Corbett said it was a “shock decision” by INZ to only approve 25 percent of their crew visas.

Ponant and related government agencies were actively involved in today’s discussion to resolve this issue, he said.

Le Lapérouse is a 264 passenger ship operated by the Ponant shipping company.
Le Lapérouse is a 264 passenger ship operated by the Ponant shipping company.

But Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said when Le Laperouse was given permission to travel to New Zealand “the agreement was on condition that Le Laperouse obtain the necessary visas from Immigration New Zealand”.

“I want to be clear, our borders are closed.” he says.

“It was explained to the ship’s agents at least twice,” said Faafoi.

“I understand that INZ [Immigration New Zealand] received a border exemption request for 90 foreign crew members on board 48 hours before the ship began its journey to New Zealand. INZ granted visas to 29 crew members deemed essential for the operation of the ship to travel to New Zealand for the purpose of sending it to business and for repair or repairs. Immigration refused visas for the other 61 crew members who were deemed unimportant for the purposes of the ship’s trip here, “he said.

This staff includes hairstylists, bartenders and masseuses.

“The ship must wait for the visa decision to be finalized to ensure those on board comply with New Zealand immigration requirements when the ship enters our borders,” he said.

“I want to explain, our borders are closed,” he said.

Wild Earth Travel Director Aaron Russ chartered a ship from a Ponant operator. Seven expeditions are planned around New Zealand, with the first to start in Auckland on 8 February.

Travel plans for up to 700 Kiwis are now a mess.

The ship has room for 92 passenger cabins.

What’s next for the ship?

Officials spoke with the ship about options – one of those options was to turn around, Faafoi said.

The other is the boat dock, but 61 staff will be asked to leave “immediately”.

Faafoi said the ship was still sailing, even though the visa application was refused.

He said the company that regulated the cruise had started marketing cruises in New Zealand.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Faafoi said he would generously call him “unwise”. He said he needed to be “diplomatic” about his comments about the event – which is why he wouldn’t go any further than “unwise”.

If the ship arrives to New Zealand, the 61 people will be quarantined on the ship until they are sent home – or they will be “detained”.

Faafoi did not specify where they would be detained.

The ship has a French flag, Faafoi said.

If the ship anchors here, the 61 crew members will be sent home at their own expense.
But he said the best outcome was that the ship would turn around.

“Our borders are closed,” he said repeatedly.

Letting 61 workers enter would set a very bad precedent.

Tour operator Viva said the ship was currently less than 300 miles from Auckland, having sailed from Asia.

“All crew members have been isolated for 27 days, have undergone 4 negative PCR tests and are fully trained in company safe protocols for Covid, safety and emergency operations.”

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Sumitomo enters the ‘green hydrogen’ business in Australia | Instant News


TOKYO – Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp. will start producing “green hydrogen”, which is made without emitting carbon dioxide, the Nikkei has studied.

Sumitomo will set up a production facility in Australia with Japanese engineering firm JGC Holdings and produce hydrogen using a small solar-powered electrolyzer.

The project is estimated to cost less than 1 billion yen ($ 9.6 million). Each device produces 300 tonnes of hydrogen per year, which can power about 3,000 fuel cell vehicles. Gas will be supplied to local factories and fuel cell buses.

Hydrogen is seen as a green energy source for as long as it is used, but its production results in greenhouse gas emissions.

Hydrogen does not produce these gases even when burned, but CO2 is released in the process of extracting from fossil fuels and producing them in large quantities. Making it by electrolyzing water using renewable energy does not produce CO2 but is very expensive.

Sumitomo and JGC will develop a small water electrolyzer that is about two shipping containers. Easier to transport than larger conventional electrolyzers, and their small size offers more flexibility for installation.

The first facilities will be installed in Australia, where the cost of solar power is among the lowest in the world. Sumitomo targets to start production in 2023.

Australia aims to make green hydrogen under AUD 2 per kilogram in the future – one-fifth of the cost in Europe. This view helped convince Sumitomo to start operations in the country.

Sumitomo will launch a small-scale business and then increase electrolyzer production along with expanding its sales channels.

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NSW / Victoria border closes: Car reverses after deadline | Instant News


World

Images posted on social media show massive queues hours before the border closes. Photo / @Milliganreports

Victoria’s border with New South Wales closes at midnight, blocking the entry of anyone who doesn’t get there in time.

Vehicles that arrived at the border checkpoint after the deadline were reversed by police and ordered to return to NSW.

Yesterday Jeroen Weimar, commander of the Covid-19 response from the Victoria Ministry of Health, confirmed the country’s hardline stance.

“We need to close the border, because we don’t want to continue importing high-risk Covid cases back into Victoria,” Weimar said.

“We don’t think it will be right or fair for the Victorian community.

“We don’t have the capacity to put hundreds of people into hotel quarantine because they choose to leave late at night.

“If anyone has ever been to NSW, we are not designing and setting up a hotel quarantine system to allow people vacationing in NSW to return later.”

However, some of the people who rushed to the border last night had traveled as far as Queensland.

Images posted on social media show massive queues hours before the border closes.

Photographer Simon Dallinger is at the Hume Freeway checkpoint. He reported that the last people allowed to pass, seconds before midnight, were Kelli Rippon and Rachel Bartlett. The couple traveled from Brisbane to Dubbo, and then to Victoria.

They made it in time. Others weren’t that lucky.

Border check on the Victoria side of the Hume Highway on 29 December 2020 in Albury, Australia.  Photo / Getty Images
Border check on the Victoria side of the Hume Highway on 29 December 2020 in Albury, Australia. Photo / Getty Images

Health authorities in Victoria believe the virus has been spreading there for nearly two weeks.

All 10 cases reported since Wednesday ate at the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock on December 21, or were close contacts of others who did.

NSW police stop vehicles at the Hume Highway checkpoint on the Victoria border on 22 November 2020 in Albury, Australia.  Photo / Getty Images
NSW police stop vehicles at the Hume Highway checkpoint on the Victoria border on 22 November 2020 in Albury, Australia. Photo / Getty Images

“We know we have a possible starting point until December 21 – that is now 10 or 11 days ago,” Weimar said yesterday.

“That gives us good reason to be concerned that this could cause another chain of transmission to return to that point.”

Across the border in NSW, three new infections were identified in West Sydney yesterday.

The contact tracer is now trying to link the new cases to the existing cluster.

Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has warned tighter restrictions could be imposed on Greater Sydney if more cases arise without a known link.

“If we reach a stage, or if we feel there are too many cases that are completely unlinked or unrelated, or something unexpected comes up and raises concerns, of course we will adjust our arrangements if that is the case,” Berejiklian said. yesterday.

Now, residents on the north coast will find out whether their local restrictions will be relaxed. The lower north coast, in particular, can be governed under the same rules as the rest of Sydney.

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