August 08, 2014
Crown goes soft on Rena removal
The Government says it is willing to accept some of the Rena could be left on Otaiti-Astrolabe Reef.
The owners and insurers of the sunken ship are seeking resource consent to give up their salvage attempts and leave what’s left of the wreck where it lies.
In an all-of-government submission to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the Crown said it would only partially oppose the application.
Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson, Conservation Minister Nick Smith and Environment Minister Amy Adams said they want the owners to remove the bow section, which is sitting on the top surface of the reef, along any associated parts of the wreck and debris to a depth of 30m.
They also propose enhanced monitoring and consent conditions for those parts of the wreck site below 30m.
Mr Finlayson says they considered the environmental, cultural and economic interests of New Zealand, the likely cost and feasibility of the complete removal of the wreck, and the health and safety of salvors working in the wreck below 30m.
He says they also considered the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Local iwi oppose leaving any part of the wreck on what is an important food source for neighbouring Motiti Island.
Ngai Te Rangi chair Charlie Tawhiao says the crown is being short sighted.
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