10 Feb 2014

Rena applying to leave wreck

11:23 am on 10 February 2014

The owner and insurer of the container ship Rena are to lodge an application for resource consents to leave what's left of the wreck on Astrolabe reef off the Tauranga coast.

The grounding of the ship in October 2011 resulted in the country's worst maritime environmental disaster with hundreds of tonnes of heavy fuel oil spilling onto Bay of Plenty beaches.

A representative of a Motiti Island hapu, Buddy Mikaere, says there are no guarantees it is environmentally safe to leave the wreck in place and the hapu will oppose the application.

The Ngai te Hapu spokesperson said the Government has an obligation to remove the wreck. "We want it removed because it offends our view of how our environment should be treated."

Senior representatives of the Rena's owner Costamare and its insurer, the Swedish Club, will be meeting with iwi and community representatives this week to relay the decision.

But Mr Mikaere said Ngai te Hapu's meeting with the representatives has been cancelled for legal reasons.

The application is expected to be lodged between March and May and will include an assessment of environmental effects.