Rena report reveals breach by the Crown

By Harata Brown

The Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown's consultation process failed to fulfil its duty to protect Māori and their treasures or taonga. 

They also determined that under the Treaty of Waitangi, the Astrolabe Reef is a taonga to the claimants of this particular urgent waitangi claim.

The report focused on the Crown's consultation with Māori after the Crown signed three deeds with the Rena's owners. 

The deeds settle the Crown's claims against the owners for $27.6mil, and further oblige the Crown to consider supporting the resource consent application to leave the ship where it is "in good faith".

If the application is successful, the Government stands to gain $10.4mil for public purposes.

The spokesman for the Ngāi Te Hapū Incorporated Society says they are happy with the interim decision, which will also supplement their submissions to the select committee, and to the Environmental Court as well if this case turns to the courts.

Buddy Mikaere says, "I much would rather go in to the Environmental Court, knowing that I've got this very good, hard hitting Tribunal decision behind me”.

The select committee undertaking the Government's response to the resource consent to leave the Rena on Astrolabe Reef will meet on the 28th of this month. Submissions close on August 8.