Ngāi Te Hapū of Motiti Island are disappointed with the announcement that the owners and insurers of the Rena would be applying for resource consent to leave the wreck where it lays on the Astrolabe Reef. The local iwi are set to be consulted on the application this week.
Full removal of the Rena wreck off the coast of Motiti has always been the goal for those along the coast, however spokesperson for Ngāi Te Hapū on Motiti, Buddy Mikaere, says he is not surprised to hear that the owners are looking to leave it there.
He also says that the hapū have been consistent and “that's our position that the wreck needs to be entirely removed by the owners and the insurers are well aware of that position so despite that being the case its disappointing to us to find that they are going to apply resource consent to leave what's left of it there”
According to the owners of the Rena, the cost of removal will soar to $300 million on top of the $300 million already spent on salvage. The clean-up cost so far has reached $47.7 million for the NZ Government. However Buddy Mikaere says the long term environmental effect is what he is mostly worried about.
“There are just so many unanswered questions as far as the environment is concerned. It seems to us that the simplest way to deal with it is to take the wreck away.”
Mikaere adds, the Waitangi Tribunal has granted them an urgent hearing regarding the Rena, but there are legal areas that need to be cleared up before they begin.