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Rena application open to public

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A resource consent application from the Rena’s owners and insurers to leave the remaining wreck on Astrolabe Reef is online and submissions are invited from the public.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council today accepted the four volume consent application after taking the last week to assess the application lodged on Friday, May 30.

Click the image above to watch the video
BOP Regional Council deputy CEO, Eddie Grogan briefs media on the application to leave the remaining Rena wreck on the reef. Video by Bruce Barnard.

The application will be publicly notified on June 13 and there will be a 40-day submission period before submissions close on August 8.

The full application is available on the website MV Rena resource consent website, says regional council deputy CEO, Eddie Grogan. For the full application documents go to FAQs and click on the question ‘How can I get a copy of the consent application’.

The council decided to open the process time to 40 days, instead of the usual 20 in RMA cases, because of the volumes of information in the consent application.

“Given the amount of information that is available in terms of the wreck and it remaining on the reef we believe there isn’t have enough time to digest all of that technical information and form a view,” says Eddie.

The former containership owners Daina Shipping and insurers, The Swedish Club, have said they want to go straight to the Environment Court after the submissions process.

The council won’t make a formal decision until after submissions have closed. It can take the matter to the Environment Court, the Environment Protection Agency, or hear it itself.

The timeline gives the Rena owners and insurers five working days after submissions close on August 8 to lodge for direct referral to the court. The council then has to respond within 15 working days, by September 5.

Eddie says the applicants have applied for two consents – the first is to leave the structure of the vessel as it is currently, and some associated debris, including containers and parts of the contents of those containers.

The second is for the discharge of contaminants under section 15b of the Resource Management Act, which includes the leaching of materials from the vessel and debris that is left behind.

“So things like anti-fouling paint that will continue to leach the active ingredient, which is copper, for some time.”

Eddie’s advice to business owners claiming they are shut out of the compensation process and the members of the hapu and iwi seeking redress, is to lodge a submission.

Papamoa Beach Top 10 Holiday Resort owner Bruce Crosby was asked to stay in the building foyer during the press conference today.

“We’ve had nothing in two and a half years,” says Bruce.

“They deny all our claims.”

Bruce is part of a group of 53 business owners who say they lost more than $5 million in the summer of 2011 are hoping mediation with the Rena’s insurers over two days next week will move things along.

No business-owner has yet been compensated for the losses suffered after the Rena struck Astrolabe Reef in October 2011.

Eddie says there is also nothing in the application relating to conversations with Motiti Islanders who say the owners and insurers have discussed paying for the construction of some infrastructure on the island and communications, should they be successful in their application.

As well as the information contained in the application, the website contains information about how to make submissions and provides electronic forms for lodging submissions online.

“We want to make this as simple for people as possible,” says Eddie.

The containership Rena struck reef about 25km off the coast of Tauranga in the early hours of October 5, 2011 while travelling at 17 knots. The ship subsequently broke up spilling oil and containers of cargo into the Western Bay of Plenty waters.

The bow section, which was stuck fast on the reef, has been cut down to 1 metre below low tide. The stern section slid down the reef into deeper water and is posing a more time consuming, difficult and technically challenging task for salvors.


Comments on SunLive


Posted on 10-06-2014 16:11 | By DAD

>> >> The ’Rena’ owners propose to leave the wreck and a great many containers >> where they lie on the reef. They admit that several of the containers >> hold "Harmful contaminants". These were listed on the manifest. >> However, there are a number of containers which the captain admitted at >> his trial - were not listed on the manifest. Hush - hush!


Posted on 10-06-2014 08:48 | By Raewyn

Posted on 07-06-2014 20:28 | By Raewyn I know people who have been working out there and if the wreck and all the tons of wire-rope etc are not removed it will never be safe for any Divers! Also the movement of the debri and remaining hull are moving with the tides causing more destruction to the reef! Take it all away I say with no cost to New Zealanders it does not belong in our waters!


Posted on 09-06-2014 17:33 | By Wonkytonk

I remember trying to book family into a hotel in Tauranga and it was all totally FULLY BOOKED due to the Rena and all the people working on the project. So some made $$ out of it!! I suppose its just one of those things, you gain you lose, that’s business.

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