Topic: Rena

Government to review arrangements for Rena wreckage

By Harata Brown
  • North Island: East Coast

The Government's submission to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, regarding the owner of the Rena's application to leave some or all parts of the wrecked ship on the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga, is set to be released tomorrow.

However, some local Māori representatives say it looks as though the Government will turn a blind eye to findings released by the Waitangi Tribunal. 

The Government was supposed to have revealed their stance today, however, the spokesman of Ngai Te Hapū of Motiti Island says something may have come up, which has caused the delay. 

Spokesperson for Ngai Te Hapū, Buddy Mikaere says, “I'm assuming because it’s been put back a day, that they are giving serious consideration to something, obviously our hope is that they come out and oppose the application.”

Last night underwater footage of the Rena debris fields was released, the amount of debris is about 4,000 tones, the fields are 10,000 metres long.

Buddy Mikaere says that because of the signing of secret agreements with the owners, and the fact that the owners have offered the Government $10.4 million, it seems very likely that the Government will come out in support of the application to leave the wreck on the reef.

The Waitangi Tribunal, in its interim decision, ruled that the Crown did not consult properly with Māori after the Crown signed 3 deals with The Rena Owners to leave some or all of the wreck on the Astrolabe Reef, keeping in mind that under the Treaty of Waitangi the Astrolabe Reef was a taonga to Māori.

The Government is set to reveal its stance in the morning.