Rena in review - Part 1

The cargo ship Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef on October 5, 2011 subsquently causing one of the country's worst environmental disasters.

This is an index of all the news items published to SunLive about the disaster and its impact on the Bay of Plenty community since this time.

SunLive has led the news on this incident, from breaking news early Wednesday, to having the first published aerial photos of the ship and slick, to being the first media on the water to reveal exactly what the oil is.

Tuesday November 8

Explosives considered in salvage

NZ sonar for Rena salvors

Rena rupture can't ruin holidays

Hope to start oil pumping today

Monday November 7

Rena: 'Milestone' day in oil pumping

Oil pumping hindered by gases

Sunday November 6

100th volunteer group launches

Rena: The waiting game

Saturday November 5

Goff suits up to clean beaches

Rena rally to bury anger

Oil pumping makes progress

Friday November 4

Salvors work on starboard tank

Thursday November 3

Rena package aims at front end only

Rena cost up to $14 million

Rena's rotting cargo assessed

‘Penguin Hilton' in business

Conditions ease around Rena

Wednesday November 2

Rena remains reef bound

Rena – subsidy relief for businesses

Rena – storm can't break it

Fireworks cancelled for bird safety

Rena captain faces RMA charge

Rena survives the night

Tuesday November 1

Anxious watch over doomed ship

Rena groans with crack and fracture

Cargo owner expresses little hope

Rena: bracing for the worst

Rena buckling in the storm

Rena offers curriculum stimulus

Rena – reader poem contribution

Weather watch on Rena

Monday October 31

Rena braced for third storm

Rena – reader poem contribution

Clean-up focus on Matakana

Rena – one heavy fuel tank left

Shellfish risk zones

Sunday October 30

Boaties urged off water

Port's high profile in Rena rescue

Rena offers employment opportunity

Hopes to reach underwater tank

Saturday October 29

Two Rena fuel tanks empty

Friday October 28

Rena impact report with govt

VoIP the new Rena star

Salvors focus on starboard task

Thursday October 27

Rena cost climbs as oil sticks

Fresh oil on Mount Maunganui beaches

Wednesday October 26

Rena oil risk under 1000 tonnes

Penguins housed for long term care

Techie issue for Rena cam

Rena: still stable, half oil pumped

Tuesday October 25

Oil threatening Mayor Island

University scientists study oil

A third of oil pumped off Rena

Monday October 24

Marine exclusion zone changed

More progress, more oil

Sunday October 23

Oil spill aimed for Mayor Island

Preserving Rena memories online

New oil leakage overnight

Swimming restrictions lifted

Saturday October 22

Community show their spirit

Breeding nests affected by oil

Rena fuel pumping continues

Pets warned off the beaches

Friday October 21

Beach opens, exclusion zone shrinks

Rahui remains in place

Oil holds up beach business

Rena relief – not just a bailout

Visitors warned clear of beaches

Joint Council Emergency Message, Friday

Rena: Oil pumped, clean up on

Thursday October 20

Booster pump key to oil recovery

On the rocks - sun aids oil removal

Rena cargo recovery phase looms

Coromandel oil surveillance begins

Maori tribe assists island clean-up

Hopes to resume oil pumping

Wednesday October 19

Rena bends at its cracks

Media mischief blocks Rena names

Greens push for business relief

Costamare fronts on insurance

Oil pumping held, Rena moves again

Rena brings BBC fame

Motiti's seals surviving

WWF raising money for Rena

Rena cargo debris washes ashore

Joint Council Emergency Message, Wednesday

Tuesday October 18

Rena left to creak alone

Rena: Cargo operator gives $1million

Salvors prepare to leave Rena

Rena: Bridges' view

Rena: PM to meet business leaders

Boat ramps re-open

Bad weather halts oil pumping

Monday October 17

Rena: in one broken piece

Rena splits in two - time is short

Rena sadness in song

Boat ramps still closed

Joint Council Emergency Message, Monday

Rena business impacts sought

Rena: 21 tonnes pumped overnight

Oil pumped from Rena

Sunday October 16

Mt Maunganui mainbeach reopens

Shipping lanes 'all clear'

Feeding the hungry volunteers

Eastern bay prepares for oil

Saturday October 15

Containers on the move

Motiti Island: big mess

Police call for common sense

Clean up continues

Memories and possessions lost

Rena grounded on purpose?

Care provided for wildlife and staff

Community rallies behind volunteers

Friday October 14

Rena's oil slick claims 1000 lives

Boat ramps closed for weekend

Rena clean-up optimism shown

Oil damage to rocks worse than sand

PM: Financial assistance

Motiti's quiet disaster

Rena: Preparations to pump fuel

What is ferro silicon?

Consent waiver for container moves

Oil heading to Waikato

Clean-up support ranks swell

Police on beach patrol

Thursday October 13

Port operations suspended

Rena owner - 'signomi'

Fund to help care for coast

Papamoa pounded by oil

Ships escorted into port

Beaches close from Mount to Maketu

Rena's economic impact surfacing

Name suppression for navigator

Labour leader reacts to Rena

Containers on Mount beach

Joint Council Emergency Message, Thursday

Second officer to appear in court

Wednesday October 12

Rena's hull cracking

Seen a container?

Beached containers: hands off

Attempts made to track containers

Shellfish warning extended

Oil becomes airborne

Hull marks show Rena's reef stress

Oil blows into Tauranga suburbs

Rena captain appears in court

Containers sighted at Motiti

Rena captain in court

Navigation warning

Public demand answers on Rena

Rena captain arrested

Containers tumble off Rena's deck

Tuesday October 11

Rena: Environmental disaster

Beached oil clean up issues

Rena crew make landfall

Rena: Breach in main fuel tank

Corexit's shady rep revealed

Grim sight at oil stricken beach

Joint Council Emergency Message, Tuesday

Rena moves, ship evacuated

Rena: Public meeting tonight

More oil leaking from Rena

Monday October 10

Beach love tests official response

Pumping to resume

Mount Beach to close for clean-up

Vacant supermarket, Rena ops base

Oil washes up on Mount Main Beach

Joint Council Emergency Message

Rena braced for storm

Fuel pumping suspended

Pumping of fuel begins

Sunday October 9

Pumping of fuel to begin

Oil to strike Papamoa on Wednesday

NZ Defence Force on standby

Health warnings on seafood

Rena: boaties warned to stay away

Tar-like ooze threat to beaches

Rena: Local artists' protest for action

Darkening skies close on Rena

Rena oil pumping operation close

Wildlife victim count rises

Saturday October 8

Oil drenched wildlife recovering

Time's short for oil pumping

Public asked not to touch oiled wildlife

Rena: iwi place ban on fishing

Stalled action 'sheer frustration'

Rena oil slick: booms take time

Oiled wildlife threat heightens

Friday October 7

First oiled penguins signal trouble

Joyce: Oil leak to get worse

Oil slick: ‘black, sticky, horrible'

Oily residue hard to clean up

Rena: bird treatment base set-up

Rena: call for government action

Bird advocates ask for booms

Mayor Island landowners in limbo

Oil slick dispersant ineffective

Thursday October 6

Dead birds found near oil

Oil leak, marine life at risk

Fresh eyes on oil slick

Divers fear reef damage severe

Reef strike inquiry launched

Ship's oil spreads 2km from reef

Oil leak, marine life at risk

Wednesday October 5

Fishing's off at Astrolabe

Ship's reef stay could be weeks

Ship caught on reef near Tauranga


Just the publicity Tauranga needs

Posted on 08-10-2011 10:39 | By Gee Really

Hmmmmmm. I hope firstly that the problem is solved, then accountability is sought for what is already a disaster.


Posted on 08-10-2011 12:21 | By YOGI

These things do and will happen, this is a "LITTLE EXXON VALDEZ" but should be treated as the full scale and real thing and no less. They gotta pump off that Bunker fuel. I can not see how this ship is going to survive weeks on the reef as only more damage will occur with storms. Also the weight spread on the backbone of the ship can only lead to the ship breaking up sooner or later. Need first to act to stop the oil leak and remove it from the ship, then need heavy lift choppers to lift containers off otherwise only place they are going is in to the sea and a HUGE hazard to all shipping for ages and miles ...


Posted on 08-10-2011 16:15 | By Capt_Kaveman

"need heavy lift choppers to lift containers off otherwise only place they are going is in to the sea" hey so whats the law on abandon cargo if any wash up on the beach i will claim it as mine, another pike mine = NZers are slackers when it comes to this and not emergency rescue in place is just plain dumb


Posted on 08-10-2011 16:52 | By waiknot

True is it abondoned stuff on the beach and could we have an inventory list :)

Incompetence at the top

Posted on 09-10-2011 08:49 | By Salty SeaDog

John Keys spokesman is now saying it may become possibly the worst environmental disaster in decades. Well John if you had sent down the tanker wednesday like a commander and chief would have and had ensured pumps were sent we would of being pumping oil out in these favourable conditions. You and Joyce now have this thick ghasty oil all over you

Sudden Thought

Posted on 09-10-2011 11:07 | By tabatha

The powers of the operation most probably have strong links to The Ports of A......... and want this to happen so our port is no longer a threat!!


Posted on 09-10-2011 12:58 | By rlandrclough

Suddenly, everyone is an expert - like over Pike River. ENDEAVOUR was in dry dock for maintenance, so, before she could be undocked and sent to BoP, work had to be done on her to bring her back to a state in which this could be done. For instance, how many hull fittings were removed and had to be replaced? How much equipment had to be put back in place, so that she is trimmed correctly? Were main engines ready for use? Don't expect too much of our Navy - it is trained and equipped to defend against overseas threats and patrol our EEZ. A major salvage job is something way out of its league. A full container can weigh over 25 Tonnes. Are there any helicopters capable of lifting that weight? Time for a little common sense.

Tabby's off again

Posted on 09-10-2011 16:15 | By Kin

Oh Tabby, yesterday it was the Poms fault, now it's the Jaffas. Make your mind up dear. Probably Jaffas with Pom extraction eh? Tomorrow it will be the tiddly winks. Never too early to hit the drinks cabinet eh Tabby.

Everyone's an idiot

Posted on 09-10-2011 16:29 | By pomfart

Well said "rlandrclough". 90% of comments so far on this disaster are from morons who think there is a magic button to press. They seem to think all of the necessary pumps, boats, choppers, people and the thousand other things required are somehow laying idle waiting for the call. And when the call comes all of the FACTS are there waiting for them so they can start the solution. If all of the necessary resources were ready and waiting it would cost millions in taxes and rates to maintain them. These same morons would be on here again bemoaning their tax bills. I'm sure they are all working very hard and doing what they can. If you think you can do any better stand for election or get a better job.

oil spillage

Posted on 09-10-2011 16:33 | By Rayna

Within 2 days of the Astrolabe incident a NZ firm offered a proven natural wool clean up operation and was apparently ignored. There were preventative steps that could have been taken in the early stages. There were overseas experts on hand. The weather was calm. Why were no booms put in place. The latge arrival of the supposedly only vessel capable of assisting is not an excuse Rayna


Posted on 09-10-2011 16:38 | By PREDATOR

The blogs here are obvious that is why everyone appears to be an expert in all of this. Containers floating in the sea are there on a "free for all" basis. There must be more than one ship available (other than Endeavour) to start the removal of fuel from the MV Rena.

RWC wants it of the oil !

Posted on 09-10-2011 17:22 | By ShadE

If there was a dollar in it for the IRB and or the govt, I bet ya every ml of oil would be scoped up and branded appropriately.

Endeavour was not in dry dock

Posted on 09-10-2011 18:35 | By Salty SeaDog

Hey rlandrclough and pomfart Endeavour was not in dry dock, she got out of dry dock on feb 16th. Who are you working for the Maritime NZ? why did you lie?

Who's in the Dock?

Posted on 10-10-2011 16:39 | By pomfart

Hey Salty Seadog - read my comments if you can. Never mentioned docks, dry or wet. Don't work for Maritime NZ. Spend all day on here putting idiots like right.

Who's running this show

Posted on 10-10-2011 23:18 | By crazysteed

whos is really runninng this the Pros or now that now the oil has reached the beach the loacls, well my guess is the loacls they doing the job that none of the pros want to do

Posted on 11-10-2011 14:17 | By Salty SeaDog

Hi pomfart i suggest you look at this link where i contradicted the maritime/salvage experts morning press release saying that there is now a much larger chance of a breach. I did that hours before the mayday. So i think you need to go and sort out some idiots elsewhere too. cheers

Re Morning Maritime Press release

Posted on 11-10-2011 14:35 | By Salty SeaDog

NB the lean change meant the stress vectors had all changed, which that norweigan expert had being flown into calculate, which is why i said in response that it would heighten the risk of another breach. Movement is the absolute worst occurence therefore, clearly too if she came off she may sink.

Three cheers for the locals

Posted on 11-10-2011 17:46 | By ShadE

Well said crazysteed. Told to wait until there is '''enough''' to clean up, little bit here, bigger bit there ... all helps in my book. Besides, is it not local pride showing through???

Just tell me

Posted on 11-10-2011 20:33 | By Jimmy51

Who is responsible for this mess where are they and what will happen to them because if that person has been shipped home already i think there will be hell to pay sort your s%$t out John Key get off your arse and do something instead of sitting there and doing nothing while some dickhead whispers in your ear what to say. Also is the Port of Tauranga not the biggest port in NZ??? I wouldve thought with the amount of traffic coming to P.o.T they wouldv'e brought there own spill responce equipement and people.


Posted on 13-10-2011 05:37 | By Taku

These comments are the "typical" reactions of know all kiwis .... a mining company puts lives at risk in order to save money (hey lets blame the current government or the police - they should have gone in sooner) .... an earthquake flattens Christchurch city (the current or local government must be to blame some how) .... some clown drives his ship onto rocks 20km off Tauranga (you guessed it - the current or local government should have reacted faster and must be at fault in some way)! I would have thought ensuring the safety of those doing the rescuing or recovery takes priority in the first instance, and certainly over environmental considerations? Too many experts/slash drama queens reacting emotively when cool heads are required in my opinion.

Chemical Dispersant - Gulf- Watch This

Posted on 13-10-2011 20:56 | By kiwisan

Posted on 14-10-2011 10:55 | By SuzyQ

Small issue in the big scheme of things I know, but when watching the news footage last night of the rubber neckers at Mt Maunganui & Papamoa beaches, I couldn't help being concerned about what appeared to be people standing on the dunes. Hopefully these people are being careful that they are not damaging the vegetation planted in recent years to assist stabilisation of the dunes and support fauna living in this fragile ecosystem.

Cutting Corners

Posted on 15-10-2011 14:14 | By bobsm8

Abit of local 'intel' you may or may not be interested in. According to the local islanders, it has been common knowledge for quite some time that vessels cut in the wrong side of the reef.. apparently this issue has been raised in the past at maritime meetings without acknowledgment and/or action.. hmmm once again I give you 'the council'.. nice one guys.

Armchair Critics

Posted on 23-10-2011 07:34 | By Honedaman

All of the usual armchair critics on here I see...unbelievable!


Posted on 23-10-2011 08:51 | By ronillian

"armchair critics" is exactly the phrase that Stephen Joyce keeps using to try to stop the public and journalists like Paul Holmes asking appropriate relevant questions. It is important that people, political parties like the Green Party and journalists not simply repeat the phrases (like you have) that govt trots out to silence embarrassing questions for a response which many members of the public have lingering doubts about. The hard questions need to be asked. And we won't be silenced by taunts of "armchair critics". There is considerable expertise amongst members of the public and the govt would do well to listen instead of putting us down.


Posted on 25-10-2011 11:11 | By wreck1080

Experts and governments make lots of mistakes. Just because people are rightly asking questions there is no need to abuse them. I for one, like to question. I guess that makes me an armchair critic by your standards too.


Posted on 02-11-2011 21:52 | By rlandrclough

Don't want to worry you, but the master of OYANG 77, who steamed his vessel onto the beach at Waitangi, Chatham Islands in 1992, got away with no charges being laid against him. This could well be a legal precedent for the RENA officers' defence. No doubt their counsel will make the most of NZ's previous laxity. As for containers adrift - they remain the property of shipper/insurer, but I believe that anyone who grapples and tows them to shore would be entitled to claim salvage.

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