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Updated at 4:47 am on 11 October 2011
The Maritime Union says there are many questions about the circumstances of the grounding of a ship off the coast of Tauranga.
The 47,000-tonne Liberian-flagged Rena struck the Astrolabe Reef, about 12 nautical miles off the coast, last Wednesday and about 30 tonnes of oil is now thought to have spilled from its damaged hull.
The union says it has information that a Maritime New Zealand inspection of the vessel in Bluff in Southland in September this year found a number of problems, including with its charts.
PHOTO: RADIO NEW ZEALAND
Union general secretary Joe Fleetwood will not name his source, but says that is a possible clue as to how the Rena ran aground.
Mr Fleetwood says the grounding also raises questions about whether anyone was on the bridge of the ship at the time the ship hit the reef and whether it was grounded deliberately.
"Everyone in New Zealand needs to know what happened. If there was no problem with the charts, was it done purposely? Is it a write-off, is it a tax dodge?"
Mr Henderson of Maritime New Zealand told Checkpoint on Monday a problem was found during an inspection on 28 September, but was not serious enough to detain the ship.
The problem was to be fixed when the Rena next visited Singapore, he says.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Steven Joyce says both the Transport Accident Investigation Commission and Maritime New Zealand are investigating the grounding. An analysis of what caused the accident and who was steering the ship will be released in November.
Mr Joyce told a news conference at Parliament on Monday the investigations will attempt to find out what was happening on the night the ship grounded and why, in relatively calm seas, the Rena ended up on the reef.
The minister says whether or not the captain was under the influence of alcohol will be part of the investigation. The captain has been interviewed by investigators and their findings will be released in due course.
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