Council to consult on Rena wreck

02:45, Jun 09 2014
POLLUTION: The grounding of the Rena has resulted in tonnes of rubbish and globules of oil washing up on local beaches throughout 2012.
DECAYING: The rusting wreck of the Rena.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has accepted a resource consent application to leave parts of the wreck of the Rena and associated debris on Astrolabe Reef.

The resource consent process would be publicly notified within five working days, with the public having an opportunity to make submissions on the application from June 13, the council said today.

"At this time we have no preferred position on the future of the wreck and we are keen to hear the views of everyone with an interest in the Rena," council deputy chief executive Eddie Grogan said.

The cargo ship's owner had indicated it intended to ask that the application be referred directly to the Environment Court.

If that happened the regional council would still receive submissions and assist the Environment Court in its considerations.

"Due to the importance of this process to the people of the Bay of Plenty we have decided to double the normal period for submissions from 20 working days to 40 working days," Grogan said.

That meant people would have until August 8 to file submissions.

The 236-metre cargo ship Rena hit Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga on October 5, 2011. Cargo holds flooded and more than 350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil leaked into the sea.

Hundreds of oil spill responders and 8000 volunteers removed around 1000 tonnes of oily waste from the coastline, recovered more than 4500 tonnes of containers and debris and rescued hundreds of oiled birds.