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Government must commit to total removal of the Rena

10 February 2014

Government must commit to total removal of the Rena

Today’s news highlights the warnings given over the past six months by independent MP Brendan Horan, that the Rena will be left on the Astrolabe Reef.

“I first warned in Parliament of the owners’ intentions on 2 July 2013 when I asked the Government if they were aware that the owners of the Rena were preparing an application for resource consent.

“In reply, Minister Gerry Brownlee admitted that they knew but refused to commit to oppose the application for resource consent.

“This is a sordid deal - the Government’s version of ‘polluter pays’ means the owners would pay a paltry $10.4 million, the Government pockets the cash, the owners walk away scot-free, and Tauranga, the Bay of Plenty, and New Zealand lose.

“How could New Zealand tolerate such a paltry disgraceful deal at the expense of our environment and New Zealand’s international reputation. Even today there is a cone of secrecy surrounding the Rena. There is still an exclusion zone preventing people or vessels near the area. The no-go area has been in place for nearly three years, preventing public scrutiny.

“Gerry Brownlee and Simon Bridges have been hoping that a little algae growth and shifting sands will cover the debris still scattered around the seabed. Rusting wires, cables, containers, and cargo - some toxic - are still down there,” said Brendan Horan.

“It is no good for Simon Bridges to talk about what might happen in an ideal world. What needs to happen today is for National to get into the real world and stand up for New Zealand by committing to require the complete removal of the wreck by the owners, even if it means pursuing them through courts around the world, said Brendan Horan.

The operator of the Rena, the Mediterranean Shipping Company, has had numerous accidents occur involving its vessels, including as recently as December 30 when the MSC Monterey began to fall apart off Newfoundland.

ENDS

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