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


Rena costs highlight Govt’s negligence

2 October 2012

Rena costs highlight Govt’s negligence for not raising Oil Pollution Levy

A year since the Rena disaster, the Government has failed to raise the Oil Pollution Levy on industry to pay for similar accidents, the Green Party said today.

A decade ago, the Oil Pollution Fund, paid for by the Oil Pollution Levy, contained about $12 million, but was drawn down to $4 million before the Rena disaster. The Government today announced it had secured $27.6 million compensation for Rena costs, with the possibility of an additional $10.6 million. This amount falls $9 million to $19.4 million short of the $47 million cost to Government.

“The taxpayer will have to pay $9 million to $19 million for the Rena clean-up because the Oil Pollution Levy on industry has for years been set too low, and yet a year after the disaster, the Government still hasn’t raised it,” said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“The Government has proposed a levy increase to cover operational costs, but that won’t build up the Oil Pollution Fund reserves which are used for clean-up costs of spills like the Rena.

“Essentially this means the Government is willing to use the taxpayer as the insurer for the cost of oil spills rather than industry themselves.

“New Zealanders should not have to pay when corporations dam¬age our beautiful country.

“The Government could be doing more to protect the taxpayer against the cost of oil spills.”

The Government is in the process of adopting the Bunkers Convention and the 1996 Limit to Liability for Maritime Claims Protocol to be able to recover more money from accidents like the Rena, but has not increased compulsory insurance on offshore oil rigs, or signed up to the Supplementary Fund which would allow the Government to access a $US 1.18 billion fund for tanker spill clean-up and compensation costs.

“The Government has also failed to implement the independent inquiry it promised last year,” said Mr Hughes.

“One year on, we need to take the lessons from the Rena disaster seriously and to work harder to protect our environment from future oil spills.”

Since the Rena incident, the Green Party has asked the Government to set up an independent inquiry to assess the speed of the Government response to the Rena ground¬ing, maritime regulations, and the capacity of our maritime services to respond to accidents.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mediaworks: Three to be sold or closed

MediaWorks has today announced that it intends to sell MediaWorks TV as well as its Flower Street property which includes its television head office and studios.

The intention is for MediaWorks to sell the television side of the business while retaining ownership of radio and QMS. The Flower Street property will also be put up for sale with a lease back option for a buyer to continue to operate television from that location.

MediaWorks Chairman Jack Matthews said that MediaWorks is committed to continuing to grow its business in New Zealand while recognising that free-to-air television operates in a challenging environment. More>>


Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>


Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>


Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>


IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>


‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>





InfoPages News Channels