Owners of the Rena have confirmed they will seek resource
consent to allow the wreck's remains to be left on the Bay of
Senior representatives of the Rena's owner and insurer will
be back in New Zealand this week meeting with Iwi and
community representatives to communicate their final decision
to lodge an application for resource consents to seek to
allow the remains of the Rena where they lie.
Lodgement is expected between the end of March and May 2014.
The exact date is uncertain due to significant difficulties
with the planned removal of the accommodation block, which
despite many months of preparation has not yet progressed due
to marine conditions at Astrolabe (Otaiti) reef this summer.
Commenting on behalf of the owner and insurer, Captain John
Owen, of the Swedish Club said: "The decision was reached
after extensive engagement over 18-months on the future of
the wreck with iwi and representatives of the Bay of Plenty
communities, including several extensions to Resolve Salvage
& Fire's scope of work since July 2012.
"The application will include an assessment of environmental
effects and will provide interested parties with a
comprehensive body of information on the proposal for the
future of the wreck - including proposed conditions in
relation to environmental monitoring, wreck access and shore
management, if consent is granted.
"However, our main concern at present is the removal of the
accommodation block and the fact that salvors have not been
able to find even one of the two weather windows needed to
perform this operation safely.
"This current situation only further confirms the technical
advisors' views of the challenges associated with the
practicality, safety and duration of any further
wreck-removal works," Capt Owen said.
Resolve Salvage & Fire remains on standby to start
removing the accommodation block, but in the meantime have
started preparations to cut and remove an approximate 590
tonne piece of wreckage that will allow them to access and
recover the last remaining container of plastic beads in the
Further clearing of debris from within and around the wreck
will then start back-up, which may involve a New
Zealand-based specialist contractor.
"Once complete, this work will reflect an operational spend
in excess of NZD $350 million over the more than 900 days
since the casualty. It is intended to leave the wreck in an
environmentally benign state, whereby the occupied area of
the reef (less than 2 per cent) can continue to rejuvenate
over time," he concluded.
Further detail about the consent application and assessment
information will be communicated when the application is
lodged with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Information
will also be made available from the Rena Project and
Regional Council websites. Interested parties will be able to
make submissions on the application as part of the consent
The owner and insurer have undertaken to continue an open and
active engagement with iwi and the Bay of Plenty communities
throughout the resource consent application process.