Rena captain, first officer face new charges

10:12 pm on 21 December 2011

The captain of the Rena and his first officer have been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The container ship ran aground on Astrolabe Reef off the Tauranga coast on 5 October.

The new charge was laid when the men appeared in Tauranga District Court on Wednesday morning.

They already face charges under the Resource Management Act and the Maritime Transport Act.

The captain faces four new charges under the Crimes Act, and the navigational officer faces three.

Both are charged with altering the ship's original passage plan, then printing and signing an altered version, as well as altering a GPS log book.

Other charges also relate to altering the ship's documents after the ship ran aground.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years' jail.

Both men have continued name suppression and were released on bail to reappear on 29 February.