Ngā Pākeke o Te Patuwai of Motiti has told the hearings panel regarding the MV RENA for it to remain where it is. But the call goes against what other groups have been saying to remove the wreck.
Nepia Ranapia, who represents Te Patuwai of Motiti Island, believes the Rena should not be removed from Astrolabe Reef. He says, "What we don't want is for someone to be hurt. People have had accidents there because of its depth."
Nepia Ranapia presented evidence to a hearings panel regarding a resource consent application by the Rena's owners and insurers to leave the Rena at Astrolabe Reef. Nepia Ranapia says removing it could also affect their food sources.
"Our traditional food gathering beds, those things are precious to us. We need to consider the affects the removal will have on our resources," Ranapia adds.
The six-week hearing for the resource consent began last week. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council received 153 submissions. Te Patuwai who also lodged a submission say they're also concerned about people's safety.
Ranapia says, "If a life is lost it'll be disastrous."
The hearings will continue on Monday where Ngati Awa is expected to present their evidence to have the Rena removed.