Iwi will fight for Rena removal

Tauranga iwi are set to fight the Rena's owners and insurers move to leave the remainder of the Rena wreck submerged beneath the surface on the Astrolabe Reef.

The Rena's owners and insurers announced on Monday they intend to lodge a Resource Consent Act application to leave the submerged stern section of the wreck on the reef.

The Rena remains on Astrolabe Reef on February 18.

Iwi cultural advisor Buddy Mikaere says iwi are seeking to ensure the Rena's owners and insurers clean up all environmental damage caused by the vessel's grounding.

Buddy says the lead for the iwi position has come from those living closest to the wreck – the people of Motiti Island.

“They have suffered and continue to be subject to the impact of the grounding,” says Buddy.

“The people of Motiti are supported in their stance by other ‘mainland' iwi and hapu groups. There is a wall of iwi support from Tauranga to Whakatane solidly against leaving the wreck behind.”

Robert Makgill, the lawyer representing the group, says it is important to recognise that the decision whether to leave the wreck behind is not insurers The Swedish Club's decision to make.

“That decision is made under the RMA, and not by way of public announcement,” says Robert. 

“Our scientists are very concerned by the paucity of information supplied by The Swedish Club to date. We trust that the RMA process will ensure the environmental, economic and cultural impacts of leaving the wreck behind are thoroughly examined.

“Iwi's view is that the only way to restore this pristine marine environment is to remove the wreck, safely and completely. Without doubt that's going to be a considerably more expensive option for The Swedish Club than their preferred option.

“But it's the right thing to do and one which international shipping lines have comprehensive insurance to cover. Iwi have no intention of simply rolling over and letting a large international corporation make a mess in New Zealand's backyard, leaving behind a legacy of a toxic waste. 

“They intend to exercise their rights under the RMA as environmental guardians to make sure The Swedish Club does the right thing.” 

He's surprised by the timing of the announcement given that The Swedish Club's advisors have only just provided preliminary impact assessment documents for his client's consideration. 

“It really encapsulates The Swedish Club's approach to date, which has been to try and dictate terms to iwi and the New Zealand public,” says Robert.

“The reports are clearly very preliminary and we would expect to see a much more rigorous evaluation of options and effects before any application for a resource consent is sought. Our experts have been underwhelmed by the provision of information to date.”

Captain John Owen of the Swedish Club said yesterday the remainder of the wreck and any debris will be left in a way that is safe for the public, and supports the future regeneration of the reef.

“The proposal would provide for ongoing monitoring of the wreck's structural integrity, any remaining cargo and surrounding reef sediments, as well as arrangements to make safe any damage or potential hazard identified over time.

“An ongoing onshore debris management plan, run by locally employed contractors will remain in place for the coastline and beaches of the offshore islands and the Bay of Plenty mainland.”

“If the consents are applied for and granted a restoration package will be established to provide funding for a range of community and iwi based research scholarships as well as grants for environmental, social, cultural and or economic projects across the Bay of Plenty.”

The Rena grounded on Astrolabe Reef on October 5, 2011 subsequently spilling more than 350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the ocean.

John said yesterday it had cost $275million to date.



Posted on 21-02-2013 00:08 | By Capt_Kaveman

want compo for the loss of swimming at the beach for last summer and what price should i get ? free pools yeah right

Make way for the next customer

Posted on 20-02-2013 20:51 | By PLONKER

The only reason I can see that IWI want the wreck removed is so that the next ship cane be hauled up and sliced and diced, the amount of cargo that went missing off the beaches was amazing especially off Motiti Island, that was a absolute feast out there and no one asks anything about who or when.

Let the insurers pay

Posted on 19-02-2013 21:02 | By Can do it

We have to make sure that OUR country is strong on this subject and fully supports all tangata whenua here. We did not ask for this mess and we do not want it as a monument to show other countries that we let thinks slide when outsiders break the rules re this maritime disaster. I fully condone having every single piece of the Rena taken back to Sweden where the insurers can melt it down and make something to remind them to be more prudent in the way they treat New Zealand and New Zealanders.

This is par for the course bleating

Posted on 19-02-2013 19:59 | By RORTSCAM

The iwi version of likely effects from Rena is opportunist but that is the way they operate.As for those that now live on the Motiti Island and receive some sort of 'benefit' for their troubles no doubt- let people be reminded that 35years ago only 1 family lived on the Island !!!No doubt massaging the mana and a bit of koha will soothe the angst.

Its all about them. Not us.

Posted on 19-02-2013 18:03 | By Mike Kuipers von Lande

You need to understand this is all about money for Iwi. Notice how iwi are the only people mentioned in this. The rest of us are invisible - we don't exist despite being massively more in number, having been affected just as much by the saga and having bourne the brunt of the burden cleaning up. Notice how they are already talking scholarships for iwi and all kinds of grants being mooted. None for anyone else. The main part of the wreck will never be removed, it's far too difficult and costly. What will happen from here is that the insurers will make iwi an offer - none to the rest of us - and the offer will keep rising until iwi decide that it will do. Nothing for everyone else though. And so it goes. Wake up people.

Be careful

Posted on 19-02-2013 15:12 | By blast4u

There is a large amount of debris that is toxic that is still in the wreck and for the best result for our coastline and reef this should be removed. If any item is left we will foot the bill in the long term. I'm also with the iwi.


Posted on 19-02-2013 11:53 | By Capt_Kaveman

dont iwi teach their offspring to clean up thier act on land where most of the rubbish is ejected by them mainly at night, and why is it every island lake river is now the iwi's i though this country was invaded and shouls still stand to be so

A Compromise

Posted on 19-02-2013 11:20 | By bigted

Nature has already shown that it is even bigger than us and Rena. Remove the blot to below low tide level, let the elements do the rest, surpringly quickly!

Missing the point

Posted on 19-02-2013 10:46 | By Camperladdie

Surely the point of leaving the Rena where it is causes a greater fish growth population, more diving opportunities and more visitors to our coastline. Why would the iwi not want this. Balance is required I feel. The few iwi on the island against the greater good of all.


Posted on 19-02-2013 10:36 | By RawPrawn

Any compromise involving some of the wreckage remaining on the reef is not ideal, admittedly, but unduly risking human life to achieve a perfect fix would be simply wrong, or even bloody-minded. The lawyers will do nicely though


Posted on 19-02-2013 10:30 | By crazysteed

Im backing iwi on this get rid of it

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