16 Jul 2013

Rena clean-up strains Ngati Makino

8:52 am on 16 July 2013

A Bay of Plenty iwi, Ngati Makino, says it is losing money in helping to clean up the mess left behind by the Rena disaster but the effort is worth it.

The container ship ran aground on Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga in 2011.

Debris from the vessel, such as plastic packaging beads, continues to wash ashore.

Ngati Makino environmental officer Pia Bennett says for the past three months members have been cleaning up debris along some of the beaches.

She says on 12 July, a crew of 10 went out along Ocean Beach, or Maketu Spit near Maketu to pick up rubbish.

She says a lot of the tribe's Rena-related work has meant Ngati Makino runs at a financial loss because it's not making money from its clean-up contracts.

Ms Bennett says organising clean-up efforts also takes up a lot of staff time, but the rewards outweigh the loss because the tribe is cleaning beaches, empowering locals and developing the resilience of ahika people - people who keep the homefires burning.