Dama wallaby control
The Rena grounding has become known as New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster.
Early on the morning of 5 October 2011 the Cargo Vessel Rena struck Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef), approximately 12 nautical miles of the Tauranga coast in the Bay of Plenty, and grounded. At the time of impact the vessel was travelling 17 knots and was carrying 1368 containers of cargo and 1700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and 200 tonnes of diesel fuel. Maritime New Zealand declared a tier 3 response, and mobilised the National Response Team for oil spill response.
In the course of the first month salvage company Svitzer worked around the clock to remove oil, however severe weather caused some oil to spill from the wreck and wash up on local beaches.
Volunteers, the New Zealand Army and other trained responders spent days cleaning up oil from beaches. More than 1000 dead birds were found and 300 birds (mainly little blue penguins) were rescued and taken to the wildlife oil spill response facility.
Eighty eight containers were lost overboard and containers and debris washed up on beaches. Eleven containers were identified as containing hazardous goods.
Local iwi supported the efforts to clean-up coastlines. An exclusion zone was set around Otaiti (Astrolabe reef), beaches closed to the public and people were warned against eating kaimoana (seafood).
The Rena Recovery Programme has now been completed.
A number of organisations, government agencies, regional and local government councils, tertiary institutions, iwi and community groups were involved in Rena response and recovery. All had a common aim: to minimise the environmental impact of the Rena disaster and return Bay of Plenty's coastline to its pre-Rena state as quickly as possible.
The Rena Recovery Team was directed by a governance group to implement the Long-Term Environmental Recovery Plan.
Rena Recovery Governance Group
Following the grounding of the Rena, for safety reasons a temporary moving exclusion zone was established. This was later removed in 2016 for vessels under 500 tonnes when the wreck was no longer a navigational hazard.
The Motītī Rohe Moana Trust, together with Forest & bird, made a submission to the High Court for the exclusion zone to be re-established in 2015. The High Court agreed with the submission and issued an interim decision in May 2018 that Regional Councils can impose planning controls over fishing in their regional plans under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The decision instructed the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to create three protected areas near Motītī Island in their Coastal Plan.
Ministry for Primary Industries appealed the decision and we are presently waiting for the decision to be heard by the Court of Appeal. In the meantime Bay of Plenty Regional Council – Toi Moana is abiding the decisions of the various courts and has been working with the Motītī Rohe Moana Trust and Forest & Bird to seek agreement on the rules and other provisions for inclusion into the Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Environment Plan.
The Astrolabe Community Trust lodged their consent application to abandon the remains of the MV Rena, its equipment and cargo and associated debris on Otaiti and to allow for future discharge on 30 May 2014. These were granted in October 2017.
A summary of the events following the MV Rena grounding from October 2011 to February 2012.
5 Oct 2011
6 Oct 2011
7 Oct 2011
8 Oct 2011
10 Oct 2011
11 October 2011
12 Oct 2011
13 October 2011
15 October 2011
18 October 2011
22-23 October 2011
15 November 2011
16 November 2011
17 Nov 2011
22 November 2011
23 Dec 2011
8 Jan 2012
17 Feb 2012
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