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Every Last Scrap of The Rena Must Be Removed

Every Last Scrap of The Rena Must Be Removed

New Zealand First is backing calls for the complete removal of the container ship Rena from the Bay of Plenty coast.

The Rena struck Astrolabe Reef on 5 October, 2011, littering the sea and shorelines with containers and debris. It has been the subject of a clean-up operation since but the owners and insurers are now seeking to abandon the wreck.

But New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters, speaking in Tauranga today, says he wants the job completed.

“This is a half-hearted approach and not what was expected of them – have they no respect for the New Zealand environment?

“We want every last scrap of the Rena, innards and all, off our coast,” says Mr Peters.

“It is a broken-up wreck which the owners say will be left in an ‘environmentally benign state’. Not good enough.

“They suggest that removing more of the wreck is too challenging and too technical, this looks like they are taking the easy option and dumping the remains on New Zealand.

“It must go. The Rena was one of our worst shipping disasters and threatened to permanently damage our coastline and affect all the marine species that thrive in our waters.

“To do anything else other than total removal sends a signal to the world’s maritime community that New Zealand is a pushover and readily accepts lower standards than the rest of the world.

“We have one of the most pristine coastlines in the world. We all want to keep it that way as was evidenced by the hundreds of people who voluntarily worked to clear the mess that spewed on to our shores and helped save wildlife after the disaster,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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