Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


EDS calls for Royal Commission into Rena

12 October 2011
Media statement: Environmental Defence Society calls for Royal Commission into Rena Disaster

The Environmental Defence Society, which criticised the slow response to the Rena disaster by authorities, has called on the government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry as soon as the current recovery efforts are over.

"The primary focus at the moment is obviously on managing the terrible consequences of the disaster," said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

"But it would give the public some comfort to know that when the timing is right, there will be a full and independent public inquiry into New Zealand's worst marine environmental disaster. This needs to be conducted by a Royal Commission to ensure it's fully independent from government.

"Such an inquiry should examine the immediate question of how the ship foundered and who is responsible but go further and examine the responsible agencies' responses to the crisis.

"Serious questions remain unanswered about the delays in response, about the adequacy of oil spill equipment available in New Zealand and its deployment and about whether the recovery effort could have been more effective.

"The Royal Commission needs wide terms of reference to look at our readiness to deal with future spills, whether from coastal shipping, oil tankers or offshore oil exploration. We need to take a hard, cool-headed look at what world's best practice in oil spill responses looks like in 2011 and make clear decisions about how much we should invest in preparedness.

"The terms of reference should also include the relationship between the responsible authorities and the local community and whether there are opportunities for more streamlined engagement of volunteer effort. It should examine whether the present institutional and regulatory framework is fit for purpose.

"Those who argue that there is no link between this disaster and possible spills from offshore oil and gas exploration miss the point: the birds, beaches and fish don't care where the oil comes from. The same agencies, the same gear and the same rapid response capability is required whatever the spill source. That's why we should carefully and comprehensively review the way we would handle an oil tanker-based disaster as well - potentially involving tens of thousand of tonnes of oil.

"New Zealand has 19,000 km of coastline and our oceans are rich in biodiversity. Our coast and our wonderful beaches define who we are as a nation.
"Nothing less than a full Royal Commission into the Rena disaster will suffice. We must make sure nothing like this can happen again," Mr Taylor concluded.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels