At 2.20am on 5 October 2011 the 37,000 tonne cargo ship MV Rena grounded on Astrolabe Reef in the Bay of Plenty. When it grounded, the Rena had 1368 containers and over 1700 tonnes of oil on board. Following the incident, Maritime New Zealand declared a Tier 3 response and mobilised the National Response Team.
This publication is meant to complement the growing knowledge base on oil responses in New Zealand, including the independent Review of Maritime New Zealand's Response by independant reviewer Simon Murdoch and the Rena environmental Recovery Monitoring Programme 2011-2013 report that were both released 3 December 2013. The findings of the Rena Environmental Recovery monitoring Programme, which was lead by NZCS member and University of Waikato Professor Chris Battershill, are encouraging in that there appear to be few long-lasting impacts on Bay of Plenty maritime habitats. However, it's crucial that we learn from this incident to ensure we are well prepared in case of future events. The NZCS will continue to promote discussions on this topic and support an evidence-based approach in plannign and preparing for oil responses.