February 11, 2014
Rena reef park unacceptable
Tauranga Moana hapu and iwi are up in arms over a bid by the owners of the wrecked cargo ship Rena to leave parts of the wreck on the Astrolabe reef.
Daina Shipping and insurer The Swedish Club are meeting iwi and community representatives this week to talk about applying for resource consent for the move.
They are offering to improve infrastructure on Motiti Island, which is close to where the ship went down two years ago as it was heading for Tauranga Harbour.
But Buddy Mikaere, a spokesman for the island’s Ngai Te Hapu, says the salvors are putting money over safety.
"Parallels are always drawn with other ships that are sunk and become reefs and dive sites. Those wrecks were specially prepared to be environmentally neutral, but this one was a car crash onto the reef so there hasn’t been the time to do the kind of work needed to make a wreck of that nature environmentally safe," he says.
Mr Mikaere says Ngai Te Hapu wants to challenge a previously-secret deal that the Government would support the resource consent application in exchange for a $10 million payment from the owners.
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