About the Trust

From Seafarers Trust

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The Seafarers' Memorial Trust was established in 1997 by Nelson representatives of the commercial fishing industry to commemorate and honour those who had lost their lives at sea and as a support mechanism for their surviving dependants.


The wild and unpredictable weather, that is such a feature of New Zealand's coastline, has taken the lives of many good fishing people and New Zealand has one of the highest fishing fatality rates in the world. It was only fitting that Nelson city was chosen for the establishment of the trust given that Nelson is the largest fishing port in Australasia.

In January 2001 the Sunderland Memorial Pier on Nelson's waterfront was opened and an evocative bronze statue symbolising the brave mariner in troubled waters was unveiled giving the public a tangible and thought-provoking reminder of this hazardous occupation. This statue serves as a national memorial for all New Zealanders.

The ten trustees representing the fishing industry, marine insurance companies and the port of Nelson (amongst others), endeavour to develop the trust to promote awareness of safety at sea. To that end, the trust hopes to establish annual events such as seafood festivals and fleet parades which will provide additional funds for the growth and continuation of the trust.

The founding trustees are:

  • Brian Falconer - Chairman
  • Graeme Bennett - Sponsors representative
  • Rob Grant - Sealord Group Limited
  • Chris Guard - Fishermen Representative
  • Captain Charles Hufflett - Port Nelson Limited
  • Robert Palmer - Fishermen Representative
  • Dr Alex Rutherford - Nelson Rotary Club
  • Michael Smith - Sunderland marine Insurance
  • Tony Stallard - Solicitor
  • Peter Talley - Amaltal Fishing Company Limited and Talley's Fisheries Limited

Enquiries about the Trust can be emailed to: nelson@solander.co.nz

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