Photo: Gemz Photography
Environment Minister Nick Smith has declared that the Rena oil spill off the coast of Tauranga has become the worst maritime environmental disaster in New Zealand’s history.
Hundreds of tonnes of oil have now leaked in to the ocean, and with the vessel listing badly in heavy seas causing many shipping containers to fall into the sea. More and more toxic oil globules have landed on beaches as far as Sulphur Point and along the foreshore at Matua. Sheets of thick, pungent oil, two to three metres wide, have been found covering Papamoa beach.
And as the oil from the ship is spreading faster than expected, dead birds and other marine life are being left in its wake.
The captain of the ship has been charged under Section 65 of the Maritime Act, covering dangerous ... Read more >