Fresh food donations organised for arrested ship

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A bid is under way today to get fresh fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs out to the crew of the arrested bulk carrier New Giant, which has been at anchor in Poverty Bay for over a week.

The log ship is under the control of the New Zealand High Court after a writ detaining it was issued late last week.

The ship's South Korean owners are in receivership and the receivers sought the order on behalf of the company's creditors.

Gisborne businesswoman Bronwyn Kay is organising the goodwill gesture to lift the spirits of the 23 crew members on board.

The crew are from South Korea and the Phillipines.

"Some friends and I were talking at the weekend and we decided we should do something to help them," Ms Kay said.

"We knew the boat had been out there for over a week and we wondered what they were eating."

The women have approached the Gisborne Farmers Market and are hoping stall holders will support the initiative.

They are organising a consignment of fresh fruit, vegetables and other items to go out to the ship on Wednesday.

Pak'n Save have made some foodstuffs available as well.

"Matt Todd, the chief executive of the Eastland Group, has offered to have the food taken out to the New Giant on the harbour pilot boat," Ms Kay said.

"We don't want it to get ridiculous - enough food for, say, a week and items like fresh oranges and apples, broccoli, leeks, onions, cabbages and cauliflower.

"Anything they can chop up for a stir-fry, because a lot of the food they have on board is dehydrated."

They want to keep the consignment they put together real and provide the crew with items they can really use.

"The crew are sitting out there not knowing what's going to happen to them.

"We feel this is a gesture from the people in the waters where their ship is being held - a kind gesture from the Gisborne community," Ms Kay said.

Gisborne Farmers Market organiser Maggie Asplet said she had emailed all stall holders over the weekend.

"I am expecting a good response from them," she said.

Shipping agent Kevin Pitcher said it was a very nice gesture.

"It would be necessary for the group to check with Customs and the Ministry of Primary Industries to get their approval,"

The ship has not been cleared yet by those two organisations.

"I can't see any problem with it," Mr Pitcher said.

"I am sure the crew will be absolutely elated, knowing people in Gisborne care about them."

A Justice Ministry spokesman said this morning they were waiting for the owners or the creditors to take the next step in the matter.

"There is no indication at this stage how long the legal process might take to finalise."

Sometimes matters like this could be dealt with in a few days, other times it could take much longer, he said.

"Meantime, the New Giant cannot be moved without the express permission of the New Zealand High Court."

- Gisborne Herald

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