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Rena volunteers thanked for remarkable effort

Monday, 12 March 2012 3:00 p.m.

A free sausage sizzle and some great local music made for a fun afternoon at the Rena volunteer thank you event held yesterday down at Main Mount beach.

The event was an opportunity for agencies leading the clean up to acknowledge the tireless effort put in by many people who went above and beyond to help clean up Bay of Plenty beaches following the Rena Cargo Ship oil spill on 5 October 2011.

"The day was all about the volunteers and their families, whose contribution to the clean-up effort was enormous," Maritime New Zealand Director Keith Manch said. "They did an absolutely incredible job, many working on their hands and knees day in, day out, doing some of the toughest and dirtiest parts of the clean-up operation.

"The whole Bay of Plenty community really got in behind the clean-up and showed their passion for their local beaches. Our efforts would not have progressed so quickly if it wasn't for them. Support from local businesses was also tremendous," he said.

Local bands Nine Mile Stone and Hurricane Tilly rocked on stage while children played in the sand and people of all ages enjoyed a good old catch up at the beach event.  

Rena Beach Volunteer Coordinator Pim de Monchy said that it was hard to acknowledge all the people and organisations that came together to support the clean-up.

"There were just too many volunteers and organisations for us to acknowledge individually, but we hope today went some way towards thanking all those who made a contribution," Mr de Monchy said.

Tauranga City Council Mayor Stuart Crosby, Western Bay District Council Mayor Ross Patterson and Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin all attended the day to extend their thanks to volunteers on behalf of local Councils.

"We are very proud of our community and what has been achieved. This has been a great opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation to all those involved," Chairman Cronin said. 

Ends

Photographs of the event are available from the Rena incident page on the MNZ website: www.maritimenz.govt.nz

(Photo supplied by Maritime NZ)

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