Motiti Islander queries speed of salvage operation

7:31 pm on 7 October 2011

A Motiti Islander is asking why officials have not been siphoning leaking fuel from the stranded cargo ship in the Bay of Plenty.

Nepia Ranapia can see the grounded container vessel, Rena from his home and says the tangata whenua's self-sustainable way of life is being threatened by the potential for oil to wash ashore.

Mr Ranapia says kaimoana would be in jeopardy, and in particular kina, which is now ready to harvest.

He is asking why officials aren't emptying the ship's fuel tanks while the sea is calm.

Wildlife specialists, officials and volunteers are stationed on Motiti Island, in anticipation of any oil coming ashore.

Motiti Island has a population of 27 people and is one of a handful of off-shore islands administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.