This page outlines the work the local community, and local and central government have done to help minimise the effects of the Rena vessel grounding on the Bay of Plenty marine environment. It also provides links to the Rena Long-term Environmental Recovery Plan.
The environmental risk was huge so the community and government took action
The grounding of the Rena vessel on Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef) on 5 October 2011 resulted in one of New Zealand's most significant maritime environmental disasters. The vessel held more than 1700 tonnes of oil and more than 1300 shipping containers. Government (both central and local), iwi, and the local community took action immediately following the grounding, and have continued to work together to minimise the environmental effects. At the same time, the appointed salvors have worked tirelessly to remove oil, containers and debris from the vessel.
Rena Long-term Environmental Recovery Plan
Minister for the Environment Hon Dr Nick Smith launched the four year Rena Long-term Environmental Recovery Plan on 26 January 2012. The Plan was developed by the Ministry for the Environment, with significant input from Bay of Plenty councils, iwi, and other central government agencies. The Recovery Plan is due for completion by August 2015.
This Plan sets the goals and objectives for the long-term environmental recovery following the grounding of the Rena. The established work streams and actions within the Plan focus on monitoring the environmental and cultural impacts associated with the Rena grounding. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is leading the Plan’s implementation and management in collaboration with iwi and the local community.
The Te Mauri Moana Environmental Monitoring work stream is the largest work stream under the Plan and was commissioned to capture scientific data that would detail how the Bay of Plenty environment is responding to the Rena grounding. The Rena Environmental Recovery Monitoring Programme 2011/2013 report [Rena Recovery website] was produced by Waikato University and released in 2013. The report shows that the Bay of Plenty environment is recovering well and concludes that the grounding of the Rena should have no long-lasting negative effects on Bay of Plenty beaches and coastal fisheries.
Details and work streams in the Plan, published in January 2011, have since been updated.
Find out more
Latest information on the Rena Recovery Plan, current work streams, and links to the Maritime New Zealand Incident Response are available on the Rena Recovery website.
Read Hon Dr Nick Smith’s media release on the recovery plan on the Beehive website.