Live updates of developments in the aftermath of the stranding of the container ship Rena on Astrolabe Reef about 12 nautical miles off Tauranga early on October 5.
Send your info, pics and video of the Rena to email@example.com. A list of important contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.
A summary of the day's events:
* Salvage teams are tonight feeling more optimistic about getting oil off the stricken ship the Rena and pumping of fuel from the wreck could start tomorrow.
*The slick is now moving east beyond Maketu and teams are braced for the worst along Whakatane's coastline.
* The ship remains intact and better weather allowed salvage teams to board the ship today despite it being a risky and dangerous operation.
* The ship is leaning at 21 degrees.
* There is now over 3000 registered volunteers and their efforts have proved to be successful today, according to National On Scene Commander Nick Smith.
* 1000 birds have been found dead.
* Prime Minister John Key said the apology from the ship owner is a very small fraction of what needs to be answered.
* Families who had stored most of their possessions in containers to move from overseas to Tauranga are facing huge losses.
* More than 350 of the 1700 tonnes of oil on the Rena has spilled into the water, and thermal imaging has made Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) confident there is still oil in the tanks.
* MNZ said the fuel is no longer hot and has the consistency of marmite making pumping more difficult.
* The Maritime Union is calling for inspection reports on the Rena to be made public.
8.39pm: The salvage crew, which will be using an archimedes pump, hope to move 770 tonnes to the barge Awanuia.
8.16pm: Gareth Hughes, Green Party Oceans
spokesperson, said any inquiry into the Rena disaster must look at
the impact that deregulation has had on New Zealand's coastal
shipping. He said in 1994 the National Government removed cabotage
(the restricting of coastal shipping to New Zealand vessels).
7.39pm: "It's a hard slog, back-breaking work and the volunteers are turning up and getting on with the job and the beaches are looking much cleaner," said National On Scene Commander Nick Quinn.
7.17pm: Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby told TV ONE's Close Up there is now over 3000 registered volunteers. "It seemed to be half an apology and half excuses," he said about the apology of the ship owner.
7.12pm: Key told TV ONE's Close Up if the BOP needs financial support the Government will look into this. He said the apology from the ship owner is a very small fraction of what needs to be answered. "Everyone is trying to solve this issue as fast as we can." Key said the Christchurch earthquake and the Pike River mine situation had a loss of life and good manners and good taste meant that it didn't become a political debate.
6.28pm: The Mana Party is calling for Government intervention and regulation of the coastal shipping industry. "We have already seen how foreign owned and crewed fishing vessels operating in New Zealand ignore basic health, safety and employment laws and now the Rena disaster has brought the problems off the sea and, literally, onto the shores of Aotearoa," Mana spokesperson John Minto says.
6.13pm: ONE News reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams said with more than 1300 containers on board the Rena it is not just the Swetman family desperate for answers. The company they are dealing with has told them simply to watch the news.
6.12pm: For many the Rena disaster has had a personal toll. Hundreds of tonnes of cargo remain at sea and scores of containers have already tumbled from the ship. One family told ONE News their lives are at sea. The family moved from the US to be near family in Matamata and they packed everything they owned into a container which was put on the Rena. Kristina Swetman said it contained her mothers, grandmothers and husbands wedding rings, all of their furniture and "everything we've ever worked for". Money was tight before they left the US and they could not insure the goods. The family were coming home after losing their home in the economic downturn.
6.09pm: Residents of Maketu who have taken to cleaning up their shoreline themselves are using a product they say will get rid of the oil spilled by the Rena with ease. But the residents have had to pay for the product themselves.
6.03pm: ONE News reporter Heather du Plessis-Allan said they are working to reach the interior of the vessel through a manhole - only after that can the pumping start. Bruce Anderson said: "If weather's good they may be able to start pumping oil tomorrow."
6.01pm: Oil is in the rear end of the ship. The oil in areas submerged under water has started to congeal and is the consistency of marmite meaning it will be difficult to pump. They are trying to reach the interior
5.32pm: Andrew Berry, from the Marine Pollution Response Service, said all that is holding the stricken ship together was its position on the reef and some internal structure, Fairfax reported.
4.24pm: Marcos Punsalang, the Minister and Consul General, said based on the reports of Philippine Embassy Minister and Consul Giovanni Palec the Embassy's feedback from some members of the Filipino community in Tauranga, the reported negative reactions to the Filipino people there are few and are not reflective of the general sentiments of the public in Tauranga.
4.20pm: "Words will never be enough to convey our sadness over the unfortunate maritime accident involving the MV Rena and its detrimental effects on the environment and the community of Tauranga," the Philippine Embassy said in a statement today.
4.08pm: Asked how long it would take at a media briefing this afternoon, Bruce Anderson said it would be "more in the days than in the weeks".
3.48pm: Pumping of fuel from the wreck of the Rena could start tomorrow.
3.42pm: Quinn says the volunteer programme has been extremely successful today. "We are back down on our hands and knees minimising waste."
3.37pm: Anderson said if the weather stays the same the vessel should remain on the reef allowing salvage efforts.
3.35pm: Bruce Anderson said through the early effort of the salvors they were able to prevent tonnes of oil entering the water.
3.18pm: A Tauranga couple, who moved back from
Sydney last month, have no clue where a container holding
their car, furniture and a lifetime of memories that was on
the Rena is, the NZ Herald reported. Craig and Wendy Fellows
desperately want it to be rescued.
3.09pm: A total of 220 tonnes of waste has now been taken to the transfer station. The waste is being collected by two companies.
3.06pm: More than 3000 volunteers have registered their support. National On Scene Commander Nick Quinn said it was heartening to see the Bay of Plenty community get behind the response effort.
3.00pm: 1000 dead birds have now been
found in the Bay of Plenty and 92 oiled birds are being cared for
at the wildlife facility. There are also 23 rare dotterels in
captivity at the centre.
They've been caught to protect them from the oil. There are only 100 dotterels known to be in the Bay of Plenty region and the wildlife team is aiming to capture 60 of these, to ensure the population is protected.
1.47pm: The Maritime Union is calling for inspection reports on the Rena to be made public and for clarification of what a MNZ inspection involves. Joe Fleetwood, Maritime Union of New Zealand general secretary, says it is still unclear what type of inspection was carried out on the Rena in Bluff by Maritime New Zealand on 28 September 2011.
1.44pm: The Labour Party claims the
Government's refusal to admit they should have acted act sooner is
making them look "desperate". "John Key's tardiness has had
huge social, economic and environmental consequences," Labour's
conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. She said locals asked
for booms to be placed in strategic areas the first day that the
Rena hit the reef.
1.37pm: The World Wildlife Fund said it could take many years for the full impact of the Rena oil spill on birds and other wildlife to be known.
1.33pm: Nick Smith says getting the oil off the ship remains the Government's number one priority. "When you have the ships machinery down that means that the normal heating of this oil makes it about the viscosity of marmite." He said this makes it hard to be able to pump it off board. Smith said specialist pumps have been brought over from Sydney to help the process.
1.31pm: On the topic of financial assistance Key said the Local Chamber of Commerce has been in contact with the Christchurch Chamber of Commerce who worked through similar issues after the Christchurch earthquake. He said the two areas of concern are commercial fishing and tourism. "If we are successful in getting a lot more off that may reduce the economic impacts".
1.24pm: Key said there are divers in the water surveying the damage and the movement of the ship overnight. He said the ship moved overnight so that the stern is now resting on the reef. "But again that is a highly dangerous thing to be doing, having divers underneath the ship that at any point could theoretically break apart."
1.22pm: John Key has cautioned that the salvage
operation is a difficult and dangerous process. He said a
number of people have been flown on to the ship; they can only
operate during daylight hours. "They can pump under the best
conditions at about 50 tonnes an hour so you can do the maths on
the 700 tonnes that sit in that rear tank, it would take them about
14 hours to get that off the ship."
1.18pm:Clean-up teams are in Whakatane preparing to deal with oil washing ashore.
12:56pm: Costamare Shipping Company S.A. is not the registered owner of the Rena they say in a PR release. They say the owner of the Rena is Daina Shipping Company, and that Costamare Shipping Company is the commercial manager of the vessel. The apology by Costamare's Athens-based managing director Diamantis Manos can be viewed here.
12:20pm: The Filipino crew are not to blame for
the disaster, says General Secretary of the Maritime Union,
Joe Fleetwood. He says the Filipino community should have nothing
to fear following the Rena disaster.
"I have never heard anything so stupid than New Zealanders who want to blame Filipinos for this disaster," says Fleetwood.
"Most of the crew on the ship have no control over its navigation, and at this stage the arrested officers have not been convicted of anything, let alone people who aren't anything to do with the ship."
12:14pm: A Filipino community leader is calling
for calm in the wake of reports of racist comments against
Filipinos in Tauranga.
Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand, an organisation of Filipinos working and living in New Zealand, is appealing to New Zealanders to spare the Filipino community from racial hatred in the midst of the Rena oil crisis.
"The environmental disaster in Tauranga is a tragedy of the highest order. Fanning racial hatred against Filipinos who also care so much for the beauty of New Zealand would be another gross human disaster. We do understand the intense feelings of New Zealanders over this disaster. We appeal for sobriety so that innocent Filipinos would not be subjected to racial hatred as already experienced by some Filipinos in Tauranga," National Coordinator Dennis Maga says.
11:10am: Public meetings will be held in Tauranga today at 1pm and 6pm say BOP regional council.
10:56am: There are now more than 2500 volunteers registered with the clean-up operation. MNZ Catherine Taylor say that volunteers may not be called up immediately, but will be needed as it will be the clean up operation is expected to last some time. "We don't need everybody today, there will be people needed in two weeks' time to clean up oil. If we don't bring you in straight away we will be bringing you in later."
10:29am: Newstalk ZB are reporting oil has been spotted as far east as Whale Island off Whakatane. An easterly is currently blowing across the Bay of Plenty, which may mean the oil is being pushed back towards Tauranga.
10:19am: There are serious concerns about clean areas being contaminated says director of Maritime NZ Catherine Taylor. She says that the beach clean up support from the community is amazing, however stresses the need for all volunteers to receive proper training. Oil has been found in clean areas including the Papamoa Beach car park, and as far afield as a hotel's carpet. Any oil in clean areas will enter the stormwater system and ultimately the environment.
10:10am: Pumping oil won't begin today says MNZ salvage manager Bruce Anderson. Salvagers have built four platforms around the vessel, and are seeing if they can enter the boat through existing portals, or whether they will have to cut through the hull. Anderson says that the operation is highly dangerous, it is "complexity on top of complexity". Detailed risk assessments have been completed by the salvagers, and the operation is "choreographed", with rehearsals having been done on land.
9:57am: 500 birds had been found dead by yesterday afternoon says Maritime NZ. There were 10 live oiled birds found, bringing the total number of oiled live birds in the facility to 51. On Motiti Island, eight little blue penguins were found including three chicks. The chicks are safe with no oiling, and are being taken to the wildlife centre where a creche is being set up for them. There were five dotterels pre-emptively caught yesterday, taking the total to 13 dotterels in captivity. None of these are oiled. There are only about 1500 dotterels in existence. A special aviary is being built at the wildlife facility to cater to the needs of these rare birds. The team is catching adult birds. They can live for 25 years and although eggs are being abandoned they will be able to breed again next year. Any chicks will be recovered.
9:53am: Don't eat washed up hamburger patties ,
says the producer of the range of burger patties washing up on a Mt
ANZCO Foods say that the company's distinctive silver foil packages seen on the beach are evidence their container was one of the many thrown overboard.
3,000 cartons of its Angel Bay frozen beef patties were inside one of the ship's refrigerated containers.
Henry Wilson, Manager of the ANZCO plant where the patties are produced, says that under no circumstances should the product be deemed fit for consumption, and should be destroyed.
"While Angel Bay products are renowned for their high standards of food safety, the product has been rendered inedible by the events that have taken place. The unknown in this instance is what has happened to the product since going overboard, including whether it could have come in contact with any hazardous substances that may have been onboard the Rena."
Wilson added that ANZCO Foods is "deeply saddened by the effect this terrible event is having on the local area, its residents and wildlife."
9:33am: Could the All Blacks head to Tauranga to help with the clean up? At the All Blacks press conference in Auckland Piri Weepu is asked by a plucky journalist whether he'll have time over the next few days to "go down and sort out that oil crisis, and get all the containers off the ship?" Commentary on Twitter and social media has suggested that Weepu may be the man for the job. "I might do a bit of volunteer work and walk along the beach and pick up some of the oil off the beach," says Weepu.
8:27am: ONE News' Peter Williams reports that no new oil has washed up on Papamoa beach overnight . It's understood though that there is an accumulation of oil further down the coast line.
8:11am: 88 containers are reported to have fallen off the ship . 20 of these have come ashore. Salvage company Svitzer have identified 35 of the containers in the water, and recovered 14.
7:55am: It expected that there will be in excess of 1000 people collecting oil from the beaches today , targeting the Papamoa and Mount areas. More than 2000 people have registered through the new website, which equates to about 200 people registering per hour. People wanting to register should go to www.boprc.govt.nz/oilspillvolunteers
They can also register to volunteer at the Omanu and Mount Maunganui surf clubs. A total of 95.45 tonnes of solid waste and 6 tonnes of liquid waste had been taken to the transfer station by 5pm yesterday.
7:50am: There are approximately 60 kilometres of oiled coastline , from Maketu to Mount Maunganui. The oiling ranges in severity say MNZ.
7:40am: National On Scene Commander Nick
Quinn says his team is in good shape and remains committed to
getting the job done as the Rena response enters its second week He
says they're coordinating a team of around 1000 involved in
operations on land, sea and air and covering areas like field
operations, planning, logistics, wildlife recovery and community
and iwi liaison.
"Everyone is working extremely hard to help out. I can tell by the activity and mood of our Incident Command Centre that our resolve is strong and morale is high."
7:30am: Maritime NZ confirm that has been no change to the situation of the Rena overnight. Salvage teams have worked overnight to build a platform, which they intend to attach to the port side of the vessel today. They will then use this platform to assist fuel recovery operations. Two teams of three salvagers will be winched on to the vessel this morning. Evacuation teams remain on standby to evacuate these teams if required. MNZ say that there is a strong wind warning advisory in place and the westerly is expected to increase to 25-30 knots, which may hamper salvage operations.
6:45am: The Morning situation:
*The ship remains intact thanks to calmer weather overnight. Salvagers onboard yesterday says that the ship's damage is extensive. Up to 1350 tons of oil remain on the ship. Salvagers will look to remove oil from the ship but damage to the vessel's structure is complicating the operation.
*The use of dispersements dropped from helicopters has been abandoned, due to these being ineffective.
*Questions are being asked about how much of the coast will be affected by the oil slick. Data from NIWA shows that in the last day, onshore winds have driven it onto Motiti Island and beaches southeast of the Tauranga harbour. As that wind dies down over the next day and becomes more westerly it will push the oil eastward across the Bay of Plenty.
Important contact details:
General queries - 0800 OIL SPILL
Wildlife response (non media queries) - 0800 333 771
Public health queries 0800 611 116
Iwi liaison 0800 AWHI ME (0800 294 463)
Volunteers can register at:
6.30am: A summary of yesterday's events:
* 88 containers have fallen off the Rena with one containing alkyl sulfonic acid.
* Mount Maunganui Beach to Maketu Point have been closed to the public today.
* The Government may offer Bay of Plenty businesses compensation packages.
* Mediterrean Shipping Company claimed they are not responsible for the incident.
* MNZ said 50 tonnes of solid waste and five tonnes of liquid waste had been scooped from beaches.
*Transport Minister Steven Joyce said salvage teams are working in very dangerous conditions.
* Bay of Plenty residents living near beaches have been asked to keep their windows closed.