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Insurers respond to toxic Rena claims

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An ecological survey and video footage covering Astrolabe Reef has been published in what the Rena insurance company says will give people a chance to make up their own minds about the toxicity of the wreck.

This comes in the wake of claims from New Zealand First conservation spokesperson Clayton Mitchell, who says as labelled claims that the reef is well and rejuvenating after the Rena ran aground in 2011 as “completely untrue”.

Click the image above to watch the video

Cawthron Ecological Survey of the Astrolabe Reef.

Yesterday, SunLive published a story about the former Tauranga City Councillor’s claims.

“We have been told that footage given to media deliberately avoids huge areas which look like a toxic wasteland, and the truth is there are no longer crayfish/crustaceans or reef fish out there,” says Clayton.

“There are copper containers down there and canisters of chlorine that salvage crews have been told to leave behind. It’s a toxic mess.” Read more here.

“As discussed and in response to Mr Mitchell’s comments to SunLive, the Cawthron Ecological Survey report has this week been published with extensive video footage covering Astrolabe Reef,” says NZ spokesman for the owners and insurers Hugo Shanahan.

“This video footage allows the community to make its own mind up in response to these claims.”

Click here to view more videos from the survey.

In further response to the story on February 5, Hugo says the owner and insurer confirmed that operations would be being transferred to a New Zealand based salvage firm.

“This appointment is in the final stage of contractual negotiations. An update will be provided at the appropriate time. There are some disappointed parties at play here, which is being manifested in yesterday afternoon’s story.

“Once this firm is onsite – they will be continuing with operations to clear debris from the wreck site. Resolve over the last seven months has removed 3,374 tonnes of debris, which has made a big difference.”

The upcoming resource consent hearing will provide the community with an independent test of all the evidence and facts in relation to the matters at hand, adds Hugo.

“At a point in time later this year access to Astrolabe Reef will be restored, when the public can come and see for themselves the actual state of the reef, including the wreck site.

“Clayton will now be visiting the wreck site for himself in the coming months.”

Read the summary of ecological survey here.

Sub Tidal Ecological Survey of Astrolabe Reef – SR1-30

Comments on SunLive

Racist Wisechief

Posted on 01-04-2015 17:25 | By Kenworthlogger

I cant believe the racist remarks that Wisechief actually says are printed here. Why the insulting names for someone from the UK?? And if the Rena is washed up onto the beach then it will be a piece of cake to get rid of it. That would be the best senario here. But no Wisechief keeps on moaning. Next he will be holding his hand out......


Posted on 29-03-2015 14:09 | By Raewyn

Take the whole thing away for the good of all New Zealanders. It is not a race issue it is a health issue.!

@ wisechief

Posted on 26-03-2015 15:06 | By Captain Sensible

Your racism towards non-part-maori is extreme. I wonder how you feel knowing that your blood is not as pure as you think. Shame on you for your poor knowledge of history, your fantasy fictional beliefs on what you like to think happened, and your outrageous ignorance towards other New Zealanders.


Posted on 25-03-2015 10:15 | By Raewyn

Unfortunately you will have oil on your surf board for many years to come!


Posted on 23-03-2015 00:55 | By zeeland

When I go out for a surf at Papamoa Beach my board get oil stains on it. Wonder where they come from?


Posted on 21-03-2015 22:30 | By YOGI BEAR

Dearest Sir, please calm down, you are having a wee melt down here over nothing. The Bow is wedged into the top of the reef and the stern has dropped off the side and rests some 35m+ down. That means the stern is only going to go one way, "further down" and that is if it moves at all. The Bow "maybe" will dislodge as it rusts away, end result there is the same fate as the Stern, that means over the side and slide to the bottom. Simple really. There is no way that PAM or anything similar will create swells large enough to float it to the Mount. If the waves are that large then there will not be a "Mount" beach to worry about


Posted on 17-03-2015 21:41 | By Barafat

Get a grip Wisechief


Posted on 17-03-2015 16:23 | By How about this view!

You ramble on about "what ifs" and throw around your disparaging comments unchallenged, maybe because it is futile trying to reason with an idiot. What IF you and your supporters were granted permission to float your seaweed just off the beach and along came a storm??? " just nasty self serving racist.... " Please review your earlier comment and consider whom this best fits.


Posted on 17-03-2015 09:56 | By Wise Chief

We can count ourselves lucky Cyclone Pam didn’t come barreling in here because had it of done so and which one will sooner or later in the future that Rena Wreck which some dorks around here want to remain where it is may well be rolled by the massive swells up on to our beach here. Us born & bred Mounties have seen some real big swells & waves come ashore here & that Rena Wreck is damn toast if such ocean conditions really rev up out front. Remember its shallow out at Astrolabe and those big rolling swells already have enormous power as is and don’t need more added with cyclonic winds of which we have barely seen a smattering of. Remember it was just the swells which tore the ship in two. Add another Pam & we have real problems unless its anchored down.

After the Cyclone?

Posted on 16-03-2015 18:56 | By Mackka

It will be interesting to see what is going to wash ashore from the Rena after this storm. There was some pretty suspect looking stuff being tossed around in the waves not to mention the brownish ’froth’!


Posted on 16-03-2015 14:24 | By Wise Chief

I know: Rena is in middle of area where we local Maori have fished and taken Seafood’s for over 5000 years & we really don’t see why we should accept your ’’I know’’ Pommy view & capitulate to greedy mean spirited foreign peoples to leave Rena wreck where it is when we don’t know whats left in submerged containers. Can you explain why we should accept such a dangerous situation when we are not even allowed to know the ships manifest.U being a Pom who might know a thing or two that we local brown folks don’t.Why? It is after all your countrymen who are taking it apart for big bucks with few locals included,which is rather odd. So how’s about you Pommy Chaps enlightening us in the dark locals for I am sure such exposure of truth would be most welcome by brown & pale crew alike.


Posted on 15-03-2015 12:08 | By astex

I cannot believe that people still think that a little ship like the rena is doing much harm when MILLIONS of tons of shipwrecks fromm ww2 around the uk coast are not. Thank you for the video of the reef teeming with growth and fish. Can’t argue with that really.


Posted on 14-03-2015 19:04 | By Wise Chief

Rena need never have been allowed to break up if explosive shape charges had of been set on surface of rock by divers just below the bow in lines either side to generate series of shockwaves at high tide to push it up and off reef at the time. However it was stupidity and dilly dallying of lame brain government and local council bunch which allowed time to pass and weather to get really rough to ensure it did break up as originally intended by those who put it there intentionally.Never forget BOP Kiwis this Rena had failed its Maritime Warrant of Fitness & was about to be sent for demolition but was worth a heck of a lot more as a wreck. Thus how convenient it turned up here when EEZ legislation was being rammed through into law to to take control of all the seabed minerals.


Posted on 14-03-2015 18:48 | By Wise Chief

This is 2015-how about this view- & this is container-ship which we don’t know whats left below water. Our team has done thousands of dives since our youth when growing up nearby & why should we have one of our main food gathering areas contaminated just because some self serving locals want an artificial wreck reef? We to wanted large floating reef to grow seaweed upon between the Astrolabe & Motiti & met stiff resistance. So much so we had to redesign for deep water 60 Klm out & even then were met with rushed through EEZ legislation to stop it in its tracks. WHY? When it would have boosted tourism, provided work for many thousands plus become major export industry.Some people in his town just nasty self serving racist bastards. If we Kiwis in BOP are to survive long term Climate Change we need Mega Reef here.

Wrecks and pretty fish v toxic material

Posted on 14-03-2015 17:01 | By Jolene Publique

The fish, seaweed and growth look lovely, it has been a long time since the Rena hit the reef so there should be growth. But it is the toxic things that Clayton mentions that are more of a concern. I can’t imagine the insurers sending through grim footage to the media, that wouldn’t be wise of them. People are blinded by the lovely footage and it is sad that people have lost the drive that they once had in the first year or two to get it cleaned up. Keep up the good work Clayton, we can’t have it left there.

During WW2

Posted on 14-03-2015 12:48 | By How about this view!

There were MILLIONS of tonnes of merchant and naval shipping lost to the seas, and from what I understand, the wreaks that have been identified by local fishermen are some of the few areas left that actually support marine life. Without going into the whys and wherefores for the loss on marine life in that part of the world, I would advocate for MORE wreaks in and around the BOP to slow the progressive demolition of our fish stocks by Maori owned and operated fishing fleets close to shore.


Posted on 14-03-2015 10:54 | By Wise Chief

We can now see via ample light below water wreck is in shallow water & thus can be removed via other novel techniques as proposed by local much maligned disparaged by BOPT very clever Engineer/Physicist/Inventor Ken Pedlar with aid of local highly skilled team. In this way money earned removing wreck all steel etc stays locally & not head offshore as is case now. Those who are covering up this environmental mess should be rounded up and driven out of town so evil is their intents for our local communities & I suspect these nasty greedy characters are recent imports. We don’t need the bastards here. This video only highlights the lies conveyed by so called independent Becker Carter and Co as to their involvement for large sums in this contrived fiasco. Be assured the truth will win out and local Maori are not impressed with BS so far.

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