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September 2014

This is our fourth newsletter to the communities of the Bay of Plenty

In the 2 1/2 years since the Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef the salvors have:

  • Recovered approximately 77% of the containers
  • Recovered all fuel and oils, except approximately one tonne (1m3) remaining as clingage
  • Cut the bow section down to at least -1m below lowest astronomical tide (LAT)
  • Removed over 850 tonnes of debris
  • Removed the top levels of the ship’s accommodation block (down to D deck) and a major piece of the port-side
  • Sought to locate the last container of plastic beads
  • Commenced further clearance of the debris field, with a focus on aluminium ingots, inorganic material and major entanglement hazards.

The debris field comprises broken pieces of the vessel and the remains of containers and cargo that spilled out of the wreck as it broke up and sank. After two years of investigation, our expert consultant team has completed the assessments about what might be done with the wreck. A Community Trust formed by the owner has lodged with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council an application to leave on the Reef what will remain of the wreck after completion of the current work programme. The application relates to the wreck where it currently lies and proposes consent conditions for a period of 10 years.

The conditions include on-going monitoring of the Reef environment, cultural effects and the condition of the wreck over time, as well as providing for contingency measures. Full wreck removal is not being proposed because it would involve further physical, social and environmental damage and unacceptable risks to salvage divers.

The owner and I are grateful for all the feedback provided by the community during the consultation and this, along with the technical investigations, have informed our work programme and the development of the proposal for which consent is being sought.

The application will be publicly notified on Friday, 13 June, 2014 and a hearing held under the Resource Management Act. Copies of the application documents are available to view at the Regional Council offices, as well as from and this website, by clicking here.

John D Owen.


The Swedish Club,
Insurers for the Owners,
Diana Shipping Company