Maori get $3.6 million from Rena

The owners and insurers of the Rena are planning to give $3.6 million to Bay of Plenty Maori interests to help mitigate adverse cultural effects of the wreck of the containership on Astrolabe Reef.

Six iwi or hapu groups brought claims against the owner for compensation to redress the effects on them of the grounding, including cultural effects, as confirmed by Rena owners and insurers lawyer Matthew Casey QC at the consent hearing on Monday.

Photo: File

The claimants include Te Runanga o Ngati Whakaue ki Maketu Inc (now sought to be represented through Mr Hemi Bennett), Ngati Whakahemo (Maria Horne), Te Runanga o Ngai Te Rangi Trust, Te Whanau o Tauwhao and Te Runanga O Ngati Awa.

The amounts claimed for the infringement of customary rights, damage to mana, loss of kaitiaki and infringement of cultural rights and interests, ranging from $450,000 to $2.2 million

Several groups who represent a section of Motiti Island interests acknowledged that it would be appropriate to address the adverse effects on the Island as a whole, including people and communities, by making worthwhile provision for projects on the Island.

This is in addition to the approximate $300,000 already paid to benefit the Island community from the $1 million fund established by MSC as a goodwill gesture after the ship ran aground, says Matthew.

As a result of those discussions, the amount was increased by $500,000 to $1.5 million. This is intended as mitigation for the “whole of Island” – including non-Maori - and not for any particular group.

The owner was mindful of the interests of Te Arawa Iwi, particularly those in and around Maketu as a result of their historical relationship to the reef through Ngatoriorangi.

It originally proposed that $350,000 be allocated to projects for Maketu iwi communities. As the result of further engagement, there has been a greater awareness of those effects and it has been agreed that the appropriate funding for projects for those communities is $1.25 million.

Tauranga Moana Iwi, particularly Ngai Te Rangi and its associated hapu Nga Potiki and Te Whanau o Tauwhao as tangata whenua, have a kaitiaki role in regard to the moana, and Te Whanau a Tauwhao have an ancestral relationship with Motiti,

But they are not considered to have the same level of effects from the wreck being left on Otaiti. In recognition of their more limited role, $250,000 is proposed to be allocated to projects of benefit to Tauranga Moana iwi.

The social impacts for the wider Bay of Plenty community who enjoy the coast are considered to relate to the perception of an affected environment due to the presence of the wreck offshore.

The proposed allocation to this group is $440,000 to support the surf lifesaving clubs that provide a volunteer service for all people using the beaches of the Bay of Plenty.

A contestable fund of $160,000 is also proposed for the duration of the consent for the purposes of furthering research and education in marine-related fields.

“While it is difficult to quantify in monetary terms the financial mitigation that is appropriate, other situations involving mitigation with a financial component have been reviewed,” says Matthew.

He says the adverse cultural and physical effects of the Port of Tauranga’s harbour dredging programme were mitigated by the imposition of conditions requiring funds to be established for identified beneficial purposes to a value of approximately $2 million.

The port project involves a consent for dredging and removal of some 15 million m3 including within a mataitai gazetted Maori fishing reserve.

“It is reasonable from these claims and settlements to conclude that a monetary value can be ascribed to the loss of or damage to customary and cultural values,” says Matthew.

The responses from iwi and hapu was mixed and in some cases changed through the consultation process, as they realised the extent of work being done to address their concerns, and understood the limited scale of effects on the environment.

While most groups formally maintained the position that the wreck be removed, an increasing number of people provided informal feedback that the wreck should be left.

Concerns were cited about the safety of on-going salvage operations, for further damage to the reef, a desire to regain access to the reef for recreation and kaimoana and a desire to move on and let the reef and environment continue to recover, says Matthew.

During the meetings the owner also sought feedback on what might be regarded as appropriate restoration/mitigation in the event that resource consent was sought and granted.

While several groups were prepared to engage on the topic of appropriate restoration/mitigation, others made it clear that they consider they have a duty to oppose leaving the wreck as a matter of principle.


Pure Greed

Posted on 29-09-2015 09:58 | By So

No matter how much was or is paid, it will never be enough to a greedy few, as usual...

Who am I?

Posted on 09-09-2015 15:31 | By 2cents

So yet again only part of our society is acknowledged. Who am I? A kiwi who was affected by the Rena disaster as much as anyone else who lives on our coast. I was going to say a proud kiwi but honestly, these days I’m starting to wonder ...


Posted on 09-09-2015 13:21 | By DAD

If there is no longer any Danger around the Rene how come it is still an exclusion zone. The videos they produce could be anywhere!


Posted on 09-09-2015 09:07 | By monty1212

This beggars belief but why am I not surprised?

all of us

Posted on 09-09-2015 07:58 | By hapukafin

Everyone in the BOP got affected to the same degree any payment to any party should be evenly distributed

Is that all

Posted on 09-09-2015 07:20 | By balldrick

$3.6m is nothing to these shipping magnates. The NZ govt is spending $26m on a new Flag design if you want a comparison. And don’t go wingeing about the tribes getting a pay out and your getting none, I consider them the custodians of that area and we all should,and I’m a white kiwi. How would like someone to take a great big dump in your backyard or family Homestead.

once again

Posted on 09-09-2015 00:11 | By Captain Sensible

Once again, the non-maori 85% majority find thenselves on the wrong end of blatant racism. NZ has become a third world apartheid.


Posted on 08-09-2015 23:20 | By Ellajj

Yeah totally agree. Now that huge $$ have been paid out we can all move on. Oh but wait ... It wasn’t paid out to all. Just a few.

I thought...

Posted on 08-09-2015 20:13 | By penguin

...that the Rena incident affected all cultures not just elite. The almighty $$$ was obviously too tempting to forego. The ’gravy train’ concept is right on the money (forgive the pun). In looking at the list of ’grievances,


Posted on 08-09-2015 19:55 | By CC8

Probably the same value as NZ$3.6M.... with inflation over the past 2000 years. Matthew Casey QC, should be ashamed of himself, as a Kiwi trying to compare compensation for the dredging in Tauranga Harbour ,(which is done to benefit all of us,) with paylolla to help some overseas corporation avoid their responsibilities after they defiled an area untouched natural area. Some would still say it was intentional, a way to get rid of an unwanted ship.

Principles at a price

Posted on 08-09-2015 19:44 | By Bay Citizen

There is something deeply hypocritical about talking about mana, kaitiaki, cultural beliefs and customary rights that are apparently sacrosanct, except for a suitably grotesque amount of money.

I used to fish there

Posted on 08-09-2015 19:36 | By Merlin

I used to fish there so my mana may be in the same category perhaps I should claim as well but I am not sure where the mana stops in the ocean as believe we all have access to the sea and the fish or does it all belong to just some.'s not really about.......

Posted on 08-09-2015 18:29 | By groutby

"cultural beliefs" but the almighty $$ again, rather as expected. If an agreement is reached, can it be (unlike treaty issues) "full and final" please so we can move on and be concerned about actually important issues?


Posted on 08-09-2015 18:05 | By Ness

What next ?


Posted on 08-09-2015 17:46 | By gforce

Just why, the ocean is owned by all or an I missing something?

I missed out again!

Posted on 08-09-2015 17:25 | By

I did not put MY claim in for my loss of mana, my kaitiaki and cultural interests. I would have done, but I didn’t think it was relevant. Oh well .....


Posted on 08-09-2015 17:03 | By keepitgreen

Wow, i did not see this coming.


Posted on 08-09-2015 17:00 | By dumbkof2

how can i get on this gravy train. my culture has been damaged as well

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