4 Dec 2013

Mayor says communication lacking after Rena grounding

10:02 am on 4 December 2013

The Mayor of Tauranga says a lesson learnt from the Rena grounding is that the community should be informed right from the start.

An independent review into Maritime New Zealand's response to the Rena grounding two years ago, which identified several shortcomings, was published on Tuesday.

The Rena in April 2013.

The Rena in April 2013. Photo: RNZ

It found the agency initially buckled under the pressure and it struggled to make its incident command centre and maritime incident response team function properly.

Tauranga mayor Stuart Crosby says he took part in the review and told its author that community engagement and communication was initially lacking.

Changes to levies

Meanwhile, new levies mean ships like the Rena are contributing less money towards oil spill cleanups.

That's despite Rena's grounding and oil spill costing taxpayers $47 million.

At the time the 38,000 tonne container ship grounded in October 2011 it had paid $430 into the oil pollution levy fund for its entry into New Zealand waters.

Under new charges introduced by Maritime New Zealand, it would now have to pay only $314.

That's because the amount for foreign vessels that carry fuel only for their own use, has dropped from 1.11 cents to 0.81 cents per tonne.

Ships bringing oil into New Zealand as cargo do have to pay more than before.

Maritime New Zealand says the levy rates reflect an estimate of oil pollution risk.