Iwi representatives meet with Council to discuss Tauranga oil clean-up

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Iwi representatives are working with Bay of Plenty Regional Council oil response staff in a co-ordinated effort to clean up the Maungatapu foreshore.

Maungatapu was one of the areas affected in the region following a heavy oil spill on Monday which originated from a Mobil pipe. A currently unknown amount of oil spilled into waters around the Ports of Tauranga.

According to the latest statement, the Regional On-Scene Commander Adrian Heays and the Regional Council’s University of Waikato Coastal Chair met with Carlton Bidois, Cane Taiapa, Des Heke and Aroha Ririnui to discuss cleaning up sensitive areas and how iwi would be involved in the process.

Mr Heays says, “We’re working collaboratively with iwi to clean up the oil and involving them in everything we do. They have good knowledge of the harbour and can advise us on its cultural values.”

He says iwi involvement in planning the removal of oil at Motuopuhi Island today was essential as this area was highly valued by Māori.

The Regional Council was very grateful to homeowners who had allowed the Maungatapu cleanup crew to use their properties to access the foreshore and set up a decontamination station.

The total amount of oil spilled and full cost of the clean up is yet to be announced.