7 Dec 2011

$19.5m spent on Rena oil spill to date

8:08 pm on 7 December 2011

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the cost of the oil spill response to the grounding of a container ship is $19.5 million, up $4 million from his last estimate.

Wednesday, marks nine weeks since the Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef, 12 nautical miles from the Tauranga coast, on 5 October.

About 350 tonnes of Rena oil has washed ashore on Bay of Plenty beaches.

The total cost does not include the usual business costs for the agencies involved and is expected to continue to rise as the response continues.

Steven Joyce says the Transport Accident Investigation Commission is not releasing an interim factual report on the Rena incident at this stage.

He says the commission does not feel the need to issue any safety recommendations at this point.

Mr Joyce says liability talks are in their early stages and some of these debates can go on for years.

Meanwhile, Maritime New Zealand says the Rena's stern has been moving a lot more in recent swells, but the ship's condition has not worsened to a critical point.