Govt doing 'everything we can' in search for Kiwis who were aboard vanished livestock ship

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today assured family members the Government is doing "everything we can" to try and locate two Kiwi crewmen missing after the Gulf Livestock 1 ship sank off the coast of Japan last week.

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Two Kiwis were on board the Gulf Livestock 1 when bad weather hit. Source: 1 NEWS

Father of two Scott Harris, 37, is one of two New Zealanders who were on the Gulf Livestock 1, as well as 41 other crew.

His mother, Karen Adrian, this morning told RNZ the New Zealand Government is "doing nothing" to help in the search for her son.

"Why aren't we saying 'we're coming'. There are two New Zealanders in the South China Sea who need help and we're doing nothing about that," she said.

"I just think it's appalling. I know there's been two typhoons, I know the chances are slim, but there's still a chance. You know, they could be in that other lifeboat."

Ardern was asked about the rescue operation while on the campaign trail today.

"They have had to stand down their search and rescue because of the additional typhoon in the area, which is significant. But they have said they will be resuming that search and rescue operation after it has passed.

"I'm certainly seeking assurances again today that we're doing all we can. We do need to be providing that support, particularly given the distance for the families between where this has happened and where they are.

"So I will be getting that reassurance today we are doing everything we can."

Mother of man missing from capsized cattle ship says NZ Government is 'doing nothing'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters denied the Government wasn't doing all it could around the issue.

"I understand the plight of someone who's desperate about her son and hopes there's still a chance to rescue him...but the narrative that you run is not true," he said, referring to RNZ's interview with the mum.

"We've done all we can to talk to the Japanese, the Japanese rescue facilities are flat to the boards, in a typhoon, and now they've had to pull out because the typhoon is coming back... and the depth where the boat is, is 1 kilometre, which is beyond diving capacity.

"We've done all we can do and we have spoken to the families."

This afternoon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade told 1 NEWS it is continuing to support families of the missing crewmen.

"It is for the Japan Coast Guard to lead this search and rescue effort and they are well equipped to carry out this operation.

"They are the experts in this, putting a significant amount of effort into this operation in very difficult conditions, and know the area.

"New Zealand has not been asked to assist in the search operation. We remain in regular contact with the Coast Guard and will continue to seek up to date information about their search and rescue efforts."