Joe Fleetwood

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Joe Fleetwood

Joe Fleetwood is General Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand. Lives in Wellington, New Zealand


  • Went to Rongotai College

Ardern connection


MUNZ was pleased to offer a warm welcome to Jacinda Ardern, Labour leader and Prime Minister of New Zealand, at our November National Council Meeting.On November 1st 2017, she was joined by the new Minister for Workplace Relations, Iain Lees-Galloway. A constructive discussion took place about the changes to come.[1]

SPA/MUSAA conference

New Zealand delegates Bill Andersen, Mike Williams, Joe Fleetwood and Rachael Goddard attended the Australian Maritime Unions Socialist Activities Association and Socialist Party of Aotearoa Conference held 18 – 20 February 2003, at St. George Basin, Australia.


According to Rachael Goddard;

This conference was a great education for the twenty comrades that attended from around Australia and New Zealand.
Part of educating ourselves towards building a strong, militant and democratic union was to ask your self at the end of the seminar “what do you intend to do differently after the seminar than before the seminar?”
We should aim to make the minority accountable, by exposing discrimination and getting law changes.
Global Capitalism is dominant in our world today, but it has not always existed. It came after the feudal system, and before that the slave system and previous primitive communal system, and one day the current system will change too.
Most Socialists would agree we need the majority on side to get the changes.

The Seminar had an "immediate gain" in the setup of a Tasman Shipping Campaign.

On "behalf of my fellow Kiwis" Rachael Goddard thanked the Wellington Branch for the nominations, the Maritime Union of Australia for the Training School facilities, the Workers Institute of Scientific Socialism, the Maritime Unions Socialist Activities Association of Australia and the Socialist Party of Aotearoa for the opportunity.



According to Mike Shakespeare on 7–10 August 2003 MUSAA (Maritime Unions Socialist Activities Association) and WISE (Workers Institute for Scientific Socialist Education) held a school for Trade Unionists at the Willowhaven Motor Camp in Rotorua. Joe Fleetwood, Rachael Goddard, Mike Williams and Shakespeare attended from the Maritime Union and we met with other unionists from the NDU (National Distribution Union), WWU (Woodworkers Union), FinSec (Finance Sector Union) and members from the Maritime Union of Australia.

I had never been to one of these schools before so was unsure what to expect. But we discovered these forums are a very valuable tool in our arsenal as trade unionists. They cover a broad spectrum of ideals and practical advice from Campaigning, Bargaining, Strategy and Tactics to Philosophy and Social Responsibility.

It is not only the lessons learnt in the classroom like atmosphere but also the after hours socializing where we hear of other peoples disputes and how they went about solving them and some of the funny stories that invariably occur on pickets and the such – it all helps to keep us in good humour. All Maritime Union members played a good role in the discussions and in particular Joe Fleetwood and Rachel Goddard gave a very good report on our Cabotage Campaign. This went down well with the Australians as they had recently had great news of a legal victory that ships that ply the Aussie coast must pay Australian wages and conditions. There is a need for more younger union members to take part in schools like this as well as delegate training so all members have the tools and the skills to combat the co-ordinated attacks on the union movement as a whole. Thank you to Mike Williams for inviting me to attend as I definitely came home with a better understanding of the issues facing all of us and also more convinced of the need for a United Trade Union movement in New Zealand and across the Tasman with our Australian brother and sisters. Last but not least my thanks go to Bill Andersen who gives unstinting of his time and knowledge gained over many years of struggle for the working class.[3]

Workers Charter

2005 The Workers Charter is personally endorsed by these 119 individuals: SCOOP 11.9.05 Joe Fleetwood, vice-president of Maritime Union of New Zealand (Wellington).

US Embassy letter/Cuban 5

On 6 April 2009 US Embassy in Wellington refused to accept a hand delivered letter from MPs, City Councillors, trade unionists, church leaders,academics and other New Zealanders calling on the US Government not to oppose the petition to the US Supreme Court for the release of the Cuban 5.

An attempt to deliver the letter was made by Wellington City Councillor, Ray Ahipene-Mercer and Secretary of the Weliington Cuba Friendship Society Gillian Magee but US Embassy Guards said they would not accept a hand delivered letter.[4]

Dear Attorney General Holder
We, the undersigned New Zealanders are writing this letter to you on the eve of the US Government submitting a brief in response to the 30 January 09 petition to the Supreme Court and the twelve separate amicus curiae briefs that were filed in the US Supreme Court on 6 March 2009 regarding the unjust incarceration of five Cuban citizens - Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, René González Sehweret, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Fernando González Llort - known as the Cuban 5.
We urge the United States Government to acknowledge that a complete miscarriage of justice has taken place regarding the Cuban 5 and to support, rather than oppose, a review of the conviction by the Supreme Court. We urge you to immediately release the Cuban 5.

Signatories included Joe Fleetwood, Wellington Seafarers Branch Secretary, Maritime Union of New Zealand.

Celebrating Cuban Victory at Bay of Pigs

At Wellington, April 15, 2011, New Zealanders and Latin Americans honored the "heroes and martyrs" of Playa Giron (the Bay of Pigs), and celebrated the "historic victory of the Cuban people against that invasion organized, armed and financed by the United States 50 years ago".

Those attending the activity included Green Party MP Keith Locke; the secretary general of the Maritime Union, Joe Fleetwood; members of the Cuba Friendship Society in New Zealand; Cuban Ambassador Jose Luis Robaina, and Latin American diplomats.

Speakers referred to the heroism and determination shown by the Cuban people during the invasion.

The victory in Bay of Pigs has a historical relevance because it represented the first major defeat of the U.S. imperialism in Latin America, Locke said.[5]