Legislation to extend oil spill and shipwreck liability

Legislation to ensure shipping companies have more liability if their ships are wrecked or spill oil, will be introduced to Parliament in the next few months.

It was revealed on Friday that Maritime New Zealand is predicting the cost of the clean-up after the grounding of the Rena could be $50 million.

The ship's owners are legally liable to pay for about $11.3 million of the costs and Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says the liability cap of $12 million, would double.

Labour has criticised the Government for not improving the maritime liability rules, when it was advised to do so in 2008.

But Mr Brownlee says Labour also had the opportunity to update maritime legislation, but they too did not foresee the Rena disaster.

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