October 06, 2022
Rena treaty gap still not fixed
Tauranga Moana elder Buddy Mikaere says 11 years from the Rena grounding on the country is still not protected from a similar disaster.
Beaches across the Bay of Plenty were coated with oil when the Liberian-flagged cargo ship hit Ōtāiti-Astrolabe Reef 20 kilometres from Tauranga Harbour and a stone’s throw from Motiti Island, where Mr Mikaere has hapu connections.
He says the overseas owners were able to walk away from Aotearoa’s worst maritime environmental disaster, leaving the wreck still on the reef leaking oil.
“I’m still not happy that the New Zealand Government has not signed up to some kind of international accord, and there are several – the one that is most important is the Nairobi Convention – and signing up to that would mean shipping companies are totally responsible for meeting he costs of the clean up,” Mr Mikaere says.
In comparison the owners of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which sunk in the Mediterranean shortly after the Rena disaster, was made to remove the wreck and do a total clean up.