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Sinking may have been inevitable, Rena disaster wasn’t

11 January 2012

Sinking may have been inevitable, Rena disaster wasn’t

The Government could have been better prepared to avoid the Rena disaster says the Green Party who has reiterated their call for an independent inquiry.

“With the sinking of the stern section of the Rena the Government has stated its focus is to minimise environmental damage, yet better planning and precaution could have been avoided it all together,” said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“The Government needs to take steps to avoid disasters, not just manage them.

“The Government is spending huge amounts of taxpayers’ money to come in and clean up avoidable disasters like the Rena.

“With some decent maritime rules in place the Rena disaster might not have happened in the first place.

“For example, compulsory shipping lanes, as suggested by shipping expert John Riding, could have avoided this disaster.

“A greater use of New Zealand crew who are familiar with local waters would also be a good precautionary step.

“Maritime New Zealand staff, salvors and volunteers who are cleaning debris and oil are doing a fantastic job in trying circumstances. They need to know accidents like this wont to happen in the future and enough equipment, expertise and leadership will be available in New Zealand if needed.

“The only way we can fix the causes of the accident and improve our response is by taking a critical, independent look which the Government has not committed to.

“It is unlikely Maritime New Zealand, salvors or politicians will be critical of their response. An independent inquiry is needed to ensure the lessons are learnt and changes put in place.”

The Green Party released a five point plan to minimise risks of accidents such as these in the future: http://www.greens.org.nz/oilspillprotection

ENDS

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