18 Jun 2014

Businesses settle with Rena owners

7:21 am on 18 June 2014

A group of businesses claiming $5.5 million from the owners of the Rena have reached a confidential settlement.

The Rena hit the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga and sank in October 2011, sparking one of New Zealand's worst environmental and maritime disasters.

The Rena's bow was dismantled in February 2013.

The Rena's bow was dismantled in February 2013. Photo: RNZ

Fifty-three businesses formed the Business Action Group Rena and on Monday went into two days of negotiations with The Swedish Club, the insurers for the Rena owners Diana Shipping Company. The group was trying to avoid taking their claim to court.

Business Action Group Rena spokesperson Bruce Crosby said after the negotiations they had reached a satisfactory settlement.

He said the deal was confidential and would not disclose how much the 53 businesses would receive.

It is also understood a number of individual claimants, including businesses and iwi, have also reached a settlement.

Mr Crosby said before the negotiations began Monday morning that whatever he was given, after costs, it probably would not amount to a fifth of his claim.

Maui Ocean Products owner Simon Marshall wants the Rena's insurers to pay him for the business he lost.

Maui Ocean Products owner Simon Marshall Photo: RNZ / Natalie Mankelow

Another business owner, Simon Marshall from Maui Ocean Products, said he did not expect to be offered anywhere near what he actually lost.

He was claiming $120,000 after his customers stopped buying goods for their commercial and recreational boats.

The number of businesses involved in the Business Action Group Rena claim was much larger but many have given up due to the time and money involved.

Mr Marshall estimated he had spent about 400 hours preparing financial information for the claim.

The wreck of the Rena is still on the Astrolabe Reef, and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council is taking submissions on a Resource Consent application to leave the wreck and its debris there.