Rena Owners Fined

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October 26, 2012

Debris comes off the MV Rena on January 10 as part of the vessel slips off the reef. Image credit: Maritime New Zealand

Daina Shipping, owner of the stricken M/V Rena containership, was fined $300,000 today in a Tauranga District Court after pleading guilty to a charge under the Resource Management Act relating to the discharge of harmful substances following the grounding of the ship in October 2011.

“The guilty plea by the owners has led to this case being resolved in a timely fashion and that is to be welcomed,” MNZ Director Keith Manch said.

“The completion of this prosecution marks another step in the response to the grounding of the Rena. There remains a lot of work to be done in the recovery process and MNZ continues to oversee the wreck removal process.”

Daina Shipping Co., which is a subsidiary of the Greek shipping company, Costamare Inc., was charged under sections 338(1B) and 15B of the Resource Management Act 1991 for being the owner of a ship from which harmful substances and/or contaminants were discharged into the coastal marine area.

The Rena was carrying a variety of materials defined under the Resource Management (Marine Pollution) Regulations 1998 as harmful substances or contaminants. These include heavy fuel oil and other oils, and 32 containers of dangerous goods, including 40 tonnes of hydrogen peroxide, 23 tonnes of alkylsulphonic acid, 500 tonnes of ferro-silicon, 5.4 tonnes of trichloroisocyanuric acid, and 24 tonnes of potassium nitrate.

Other substances carried on board defined as harmful include bulk wine and operational waste. Items aboard classified as contaminants included animal pelts, dairy products, fabrics, cement and machinery parts.

A total of 121 containers of perishable foodstuffs were also on the Rena.

In May, the Master and Second Officer received sentences of seven months imprisonment following prosecutions as a result of the grounding. They have since been deported.

Earlier this month Daina Shipping Company agreed to pay 27.6 million New Zealand dollars, or about US$22 million, to settle a series of claims stemming from the grounding involving the government and several public bodies including Maritime NZ, Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Environmental Protection Agency, the Minister of Local Government (signing as the territorial authority for Motiti island), and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Resolve Fire and Salvage continue to work on the removal of the Rena, while Braemar Howells/Unimar are continuing to collect debris from the seabed and beaches in the area.

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