Rena Stern

The wreck of the container ship Rena, 47,230dwt, no longer poses a danger to navigation in the Astrolabe Reef region, according to the organisation Maritime New Zealand.

The Rena spilled more than 300 tonnes of oil into the Bay of Plenty, causing what has been described as “New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster”. In April this year, Maritime New Zealand withdrew two statutory notices relating to the wreck issued after the ship grounded on the reef on Oct 5, 2011.

The notices declared the wreck a hazard to navigation and a hazardous ship, requiring her owners to undertake work to address the navigational hazard and discharge of harmful substances, and inform Maritime NZ of progress being made.

Early in April, Maritime NZ director Keith Manch said salvage and clean-up work undertaken since the grounding meant there was now no proper basis for the notices under the Maritime Transport Act.

“Significant effort has gone into salvage and safe removal of harmful substances,” he said. “While some oil remains trapped in the wreckage of the vessel, most of the harmful substances contained within the ship have been discharged into the sea and have either been removed or have been, and will continue to be, monitored under the plan provided for under the resource consent.”

In terms of navigational safety, Mr Manch said that more than 22,000 tonnes of debris had been removed from the seabed.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - June 2016 Issue
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