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


Rena report fails to answer important questions

Environment Spokesperson
3 December 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Rena report fails to answer important questions

The independent report into Maritime New Zealand's (MNZ) response to the Rena grounding fails to ask some critical questions and falls well short of allaying concerns that New Zealand is ready to deal with a significant oil spill event, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey .

“On one hand the report says this was a minor event compared to what could have happened, yet it also states that Maritime New Zealand 'buckled initially’ and struggled to cope.

“The report goes on to recognise that it was only luck which held the Rena together on the Astrolabe reef and prevented a much larger spill.

“It's seems contradictory that the report states that the response was ‘ultimately effective’ but then goes on to recommend that a review of the national strategy be undertaken to "ensure it properly covers the variety of serious maritime incidents to which MNZ, alone or in partnership with other agencies, may need to respond and any legislative or resourcing implications arising."

"This work should have been carried out immediately following the event as Labour called for at the time. Instead we have waited two years for a review which simply calls for more reviews on some of the most critical issues. And all the while near misses between vessels in New Zealand waters continue to occur.

"The report also does not address the impact of the National Government's decision to freeze funding for Maritime NZ on taking office in 2008, despite MNZ repeatedly warning that their funding levels were unsustainable and affecting their ability to monitor shipping safety and protect the environment.

“While the Government has announced further funding of 2 million dollars, this is to allow MNZ to expand their response capability to include contaminants other than oil, not to bolster their oil spill response capacity.

"Labour would also support a review of oil dispersants approved for use in New Zealand, including the controversial dispersal agent Corexit. Especially given that once again it was simply put down to luck that the ocean conditions did not allow it to mix with the heavy fuel oil and increase toxicity.

“Labour at the time of the Rena disaster called for a full commission of inquiry so that all relevant issues could be examined and questions answered. Today's report unfortunately falls well short of that.

"We cannot simply continue to rely on lady luck when it comes to protecting our precious marine environment.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>


Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>


Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>


Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>


Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>


With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>


Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>


Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news