25 Jun 2015

Bay of Plenty hapū furious with its iwi board

8:43 pm on 25 June 2015

A Bay of Plenty hapū says it's furious with its iwi board for signing an agreement with the owner of the Rena to keep the wreck where it is.

The Rena ran aground in October 2011.

The 'Rena' ran aground in October 2011. Photo: RENA PROJECT

The container ship Rena was wrecked on Otaiti - the Astrolabe Reef - just off the coast from Tauranga.

After three years pushing for the wreck to be completely removed, Ngāti Ranginui has now signed an agreement with the owner of the vessel.

Chair Tawharangi Nuku said the agreement signalled a decision to acknowledge the grounding and its impact on Tauranga moana, but heralded a significant decision to move on.

But a spokesperson for the hapu Ngai Tamarawaho said the board's conduct was a disgrace and it should not have signed a confidential agreement without consulting with hapu first.

Buddy Mikaere said the board's actions were divisive and stunned the hapu.

"It's really quite disgraceful that something like this should happen. Particularly in Tauranga, where there's been quite a lot of disunity over things like treaty settlements and that kind of thing.

"And we're kind of getting to the stage we believe we know how to work together now and that you need to take people with you on making important decisions."