The death of a watersider who died aboard a ship at the Port of Lyttelton yesterday will hit the close knit workforce and community hard, Maritime Union of New Zealand says.

National secretary Joe Fleetwood said information he has received indicated the worker was aboard a fertiliser vessel when the incident occurred about midday.

The union would be calling for a meeting with health and safety delegates, management of all port employers, Maritime New Zealand and Worksafe officials.

There were concerns that congestion in the port could be a contributing factor to health and safety issues in the port since the 2011 earthquake, Mr Fleetwood said.


The union would offer support to family and workmates of the man.

It was not yet known how the worker died and his identity was yet to be released.

His death was the second in the port within a month. A contractor died in a logging truck incident on November 26.