Debris and oil weighing 35kg washed up on Bay beaches after
last weekend's tropical storm.
The pollution happened after Rena's stern changed position on
the Astrolabe Reef.
The revelation comes a day after the Bay of Plenty Times
revealed that Mount Maunganui Main Beach was voted one of the
top four beaches in the South Pacific, and as activists
gathered at Mount Drury to launch a petition calling for the
Bay of Plenty regional Council senior communications advisor
Linda Thompson revealed yesterday that Bay of Plenty Regional
Council received complaints from beach walkers about oil on
the beaches. She said before tropical storm Lusi the last
time someone had reported oil on Bay beaches was October or
November last year.
Regional council environmental management general manager
Eddie Grogan said 20kg of oil and debris was picked up on
Mount Main Beach and another 15kg on Papamoa Beach by
Local resident Nevan Lancaster said he had been collecting
pieces of container insulation from the Rena along the
beaches for quite some time.
"You find it washed up on the beach every day, it's basically
dense polystyrene that lines the containers on the Rena.
"On Sunday, there was also quite a few plastic beads around
Tay St and Omanu surf club, too."
Mr Lancaster, who also spearheads the Rena Business Oil
washes up on beaches as storm shifts Rena
Compensation Group, said it showed the ongoing damage the
Rena was causing to the environment.
Spokesman for Rena's owner and insurer Hugo Shanahan said:
"Some debris and small amounts of oil were recovered by the
onshore debris management teams last Sunday and Monday."
Mr Shanahan said the "bulbous bow" which had separated from
the main bow section had also broken in several pieces.
Iwi spokesman Mr Mikaere said leaving the wreck on the reef
was a cultural offence.
"To have this wreck suddenly appear on our reef and go
through the whole process of the cargo, oil and all the other
pollutants come out of it and on to our beaches, to get us
this far and for them to say 'No we have done enough, we
think we are going to leave it now', it's not fair on us, on
the people who live here and the people in New Zealand.
"Just because we are at the bottom of the world doesn't mean
we shouldn't expect the same treatment as the Concordia."
Pat Spellman, Moana Radio host and driver behind the Restore
our Reef - Remove the Rena campaign, said the petition was an
opportunity for the people of Tauranga to really get behind
- by the Bay of Plenty Times