Rena anniversary no celebration

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 42, December 2012

One year on from the grounding of Rena, the last thing intended for the anniversary was a celebration.
Workers on board the wreck.
Maritime New Zealand ©2020
Work continued on removing the wreck of Rena, even as the anniversary event was being held.

The aim, when MNZ hosted an anniversary event at the Rena Control Centre, was to acknowledge the work done by the community – and the owners and insurers – in cleaning up the mess.

And that work continues, with wreck removal and debris recovery going on even as the community leaders, representatives of government agencies and the salvors were gathering for the event on 5 October 2012. The event was held at the current control centre, a former fire station in Mt Maunganui, which remains very much a working site.

Simon Bridges
Simon Bridges spoke first at the Rena control centre event.
Maritime New Zealand ©2020

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges said, “while Rena could have brought out the worst in us, it showed us at our best”. He spoke about the valuable contribution made by all involved, who rallied and worked together to make the most of a bad situation. “We all wish Rena didn’t happen. Yet in the aftermath, we rose to the challenge and did ourselves proud,” Mr Bridges said.

Mr Bridges’ comments were echoed by community leaders from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

Tauranga Moana Iwi Leaders’ Group chairman Awanui Black said iwi continued to work on cleaning up around the coast.

In the week preceding the anniversary, Rena was again making the news, first with the signing of a $27.6 million settlement between the owners and the Crown, and then with the announcement that former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Simon Murdoch would be carrying out an independent review of MNZ’s response to the event.

The settlement includes payment of an additional $10.4 million, which would be made if the owners and insurers apply for, gain and use a resource consent to leave part of the wreck in place, and would reflect the savings made as a result.

Frank Leckey and Keith Manch
Resolve’s Frank Leckey (left) and MNZ’s Keith Manch were among the speakers at the event.
Maritime New Zealand ©2020

MNZ Chief Executive Keith Manch said the announcement of the settlement and the independent review were clear signs that the work following the grounding was ongoing and had passed significant milestones.

“The settlement simply covers the cost of work paid for by the Crown. There is clearly a lot of work to be done in addressing compensation outside that of the Crown.

“In order for this to be progressed, both the Crown and owners needed certainty over this element of the process, and I believe this settlement opens the way for further discussion to get underway,” he says.

Meanwhile, Mr Murdoch has begun his review of MNZ’s response to the grounding and is talking to MNZ staff and outside agencies and community groups.

His report is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013 and will be available on the MNZ website.

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