Rena owners fined over grounding
Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 42, December 2012
Daina Shipping was fined $300,000 in the Tauranga District Court on 26 October 2012.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of $600,000, but Judge Robert Wolff accepted legal submissions from counsel for MNZ and Daina Shipping that $450,000 was the appropriate starting point, as the offence had not been intentional.
Judge Wolff reduced the fine by 10 percent in recognition of the owners’ positive response following the grounding, and by a further 25 percent to reflect the guilty plea. He then rounded the fine to $300,000.
“The guilty plea by the owners has led to this case being resolved in a timely fashion and that is to be welcomed,” MNZ Director Keith Manch said.
“The completion of this prosecution marks another step in the response to the Rena grounding. There remains a lot of work to be done in the recovery process and MNZ continues to oversee the wreck removal process.”
Daina Shipping was charged under sections 338(1B) and 15B of the Resource Management Act 1991, for being the owner of a ship from which harmful substances and/or contaminants were discharged into the coastal marine area.
Rena was carrying a variety of materials defined under the Resource Management (Marine Pollution) Regulations 1998 as harmful substances or contaminants.
These include heavy fuel oil and other oils, and 32 containers of dangerous goods, including 40 tonnes of hydrogen peroxide, 23 tonnes of alkylsulphonic acid, 500 tonnes of ferro-silicon, 5.4 tonnes of trichloroisocyanuric acid, and 24 tonnes of potassium nitrate.
Other substances carried on board defined as harmful include bulk wine and operational waste. Items on board classified as contaminants included animal pelts, dairy products, fabrics, cement and machinery parts.
A total of 121 containers of perishable foodstuffs were also on board Rena.
In May, Rena’s master and second officer received sentences of seven months’ imprisonment, following prosecutions as a result of the grounding. They have since been deported.
Resolve Fire and Salvage continue to work on the removal of the Rena wreck, while Braemar Howells/Unimar are continuing to collect debris from the seabed and beaches in the area.