February 25, 2015
Timetable set for Rena hearing
Bay of Plenty Regional Council expects hearing the application for consent to leave part of the ship Rena on Otaiti Astrolabe Reef will take three weeks.
Chair Gordon Whiting today released a timeline for the lead-up to the hearing, which starts on June 23.
At the start of April the council and submitters will receive survey, video imaging data, ecological characterisation, most recent sampling results and copper recovery reports.
The Rena’s owners and insurers must submit their technical evidence by May, which will be commented on by the councillors and submitters before being sent back to the applicants for rebuttal evidence.
Factors to be considered at the hearing include Maori culture, salvage, contaminants and ecology, planning, natural character and landscape, dive safety and navigation and social and recreation.
Tauranga Moana iwi are concerned concessions already given to the owners are softening up the public for what’s left of the wreck to be left on the reef, which has cultural and spiritual significance for tangata whenua.
Earlier this month Maritime NZ granted the ship's owners a temporary pause on salvage operations pending the outcome of their resource consent application.
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