Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Jody Shows Oil Spill Risk Too High - Greens

Comments made by Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) director Russell Kilvington today cast doubt on the country's readiness to deal with a major oil spill risk, Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

Mr Kilvington today told the Transport and Industrial Relations select committee that the MSA could only just scrape together enough tugs for the salvage of the Jody F Millennium, and that he was concerned during the operation that resources were very tight.

Ms Fitzsimons said luck had been on the side of the salvors and the MSA this time, but next time it could be different.

"They were extremely lucky with the Jody that she was a relatively new ship, and that she did not break up during the weeks that it took to bring the tugs together and conduct the salvage operation. Next time we might not be so lucky," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said it seems there was only one available tug in New Zealand, the Pacific Chieftain, big enough to play a major role in the salvage operation. The other large tug used was the Keera from Melbourne, and the smaller Seatow tug from Picton was used as a support tug.

"It took five days for the Pacific Chieftain to arrive from New Plymouth, and ten days for the Keera to arrive from Melbourne.

"No-one can describe that as immediate response in an emergency. I have been trying, without success, to find out whether there are enough New-Zealand registered large tugs available for requisitioning by the MSA in the event of an emergency salvage operation and, if so, where they are normally located.

"Next time we may not have ten days to wait for the tugs to get there. Every extra day could make the difference between a successful salvage and an environmental disaster unprecedented in New Zealand.

"The MSA national oil spill response plan says that New Zealand is equipped to deal with a 7000 tonne spill whereas this one was just a fraction of that. The lessons from the Jody have to be learnt, because at the moment the risk of a major oil spill is just too high."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news