9 Nov 2011

Iwi worried about clean up plans after Rena grounding

8:17 pm on 9 November 2011

The head of a Tauranga iwi doubts the Government can afford to keep the beaches and sea clean in the long run, following the grounding of the container ship, Rena.

The ship got stuck on a reef off the Bay of Plenty coast over a month ago.

Since then, oil has spilt into the sea from the vessel's fuel tanks, polluted the water and beaches, and killed wildlife.

Salvors are still working to remove the last of the oil from the vessel.

Ngai Te Rangi runanga chair Charlie Tawhiao expects it will be years before the last of the oil in the ocean washes ashore.

But he says the trustboard's been assured by the Crown that it will do all it can to try and restore the environment to what it once was.

He says he's worried about whether the Government can afford to implement a long-term plan and whether its will to restore the environment will remain after the election.