17 Oct 2011

Grief at oil spill can be overwhelming says iwi chairman

6:22 am on 17 October 2011

The chairman of a Tauranga iwi Ngai te Rangi says it may be almost a fortnight since the container ship Rena ran aground, but he still feels emotional about it.

Charlie Tawhiao says even though he's been busy helping organise a co-ordinated iwi response to the disaster he could have gone down to the beach, but has deliberately stayed away.

Mr Tawhiao says every time he thinks about it he becomes overwhelmed by a sense of despair and grief.

He says for people trying to maintain some stability and direction it's important not to get caught up in the emotion of it.

Mr Tawhiao says there will be a time when he will weep, but right now he has to get on with the work which needs doing and supporting Maritime New Zealand.