August 13, 2015
Rena deal will see Maori marine centre
Te Arawa Maori are going to use $1.25 million compensation from the owners of the Rena which ran aground in 2011 to set up the country's first Maori marine centre.
Raewyn Bennett chairwoman of Te Arawa Ki Tai Trust which has kaitiaki responsibility for Otaiti, commonly known as Astrolobe Reef, where the Rena grounded says the cultural mitigation package will enable the Te Whare o Ngatoro marine centre to protect the local ecosystem and educate tamariki in marine science.
She rejects claims from other iwi that accepting the money is a 'sell-out' in return for not objecting to a resource consent application by the Diana Shipping company to leave the wreck where it is.
Raewyn Bennett says they have had their own diver with experience from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 examine remaining wreckage and believe further salvage would tear the reef apart doing more harm than good.
She says the iwi is particularly passionate about Otaiti because it was named by the tohunga of their waka Ngatoroirangi and is tapu.
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