12 Mar 2015

Hapu struggle with Rena salvage experts

7:00 am on 12 March 2015

Motiti Island hapu Ngai Te Hapu says it's having difficulty finding experts willing to take a contrary view to the owners of the Rena, who want to leave what remains of the wreck on the Astrolabe Reef in Bay of Plenty.

The grounding on Astrolabe Reef created one of New Zealand's worst maritime and environmental disasters.

The grounding of the Rena on Astrolabe Reef created one of New Zealand's worst maritime disasters. Photo: RENA PROJECT

The container ship ran aground in 2011.

Its owners have applied for a resource consent and a hearing will be held in June.

Spokesperson for Ngai Te Hapu Buddy Mikaere said it seemed no one in the salvage world will give evidence supporting the removal of the wreck by taking an opposing view to marine owners and insurers.

He said if any salvage expert went against the grain then they were likely to end up on a black list and not work again.

Mr Mikaere said it appeared the Crown, which also wants the wreck removed, would have access to consultants, and Ngai Te Hapu were hoping that they may also be able to use them.