February 18, 2013
Insurer wants to leave Rena on reef
The owner and insurer of the ground vessel Rena want to leave some of the wreck on the Astrolabe Reef on the approach to Tauranga harbour.
The proposal has alarmed tangata whenua, particularly those on nearby Motuti Island.
The salvage operation has so far cost more than $275 million since the ship ran aground in October 2011.
Captain John Owen of the Swedish Club, which represents the owner and insurer, says there will be community consultation on proposals to deal with the remaining sections of the wreck, including an application for resource consent to leave the remaining sections of wreck and any debris on the reef.
The plan for the rest of the year is to address contaminants and remove debris from a 10,000 square metre area around the wreck.
Captain Owen says full wreck removal would involve greater disturbance and destruction of the reef environment.
He says if the resource consent was granted, the restoration package would include funding for community and iwi based research scholarships as well as grants for environmental, social, cultural and economic projects across the Bay of Plenty.
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