• Home
  • News
  • Maritime NZ: reflecting on ten years since the Rena grounding and oil spill response
  • 2021 October 3 13:29

    Maritime NZ: reflecting on ten years since the Rena grounding and oil spill response

    It is almost ten years since the Liberian-flagged MV Rena hit Ōtāiti - Astrolabe Reef, off the Bay of Plenty coast in the early hours of 5 October 2011.

    “The Rena response was unprecedented in its scale and complexity and we are better prepared for future events as a result of what we learned,” said Kirstie Hewlett, Director of Maritime NZ.

    Rena was carrying 1,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and 1,368 containers on board at the time of grounding. Over the following few days and weeks, an estimated 350 tonnes of oil spilled into the sea and many containers washed overboard.

    Over time, the vessel broke up and significant debris was released into the ocean.

    Response efforts, led by Maritime NZ, focused on cleaning the oil and debris that had reached the beach, while a team of salvors worked to remove the oil and containers remaining on the ship. Over the following months and years, a complex salvage and environmental remediation operation was undertaken, with the majority of the vessel removed and an extensive clean-up of the affected environment.

    While the incident response from Maritime NZ was immediate and comprehensive, an independent review found areas for development to create resilience for any future events. Over the past decade, Maritime NZ has made a number of improvements to its preparedness for major maritime incidents.

    Systems and plans to better support community and volunteer engagement are now built into an overall integrated approach to large-scale maritime incidents that recognises the complexity of such events.  

    Following the Rena grounding and oil spill, during the response and recovery activities, Maritime NZ and its partners hosted a series of public meetings. The clear message from the Bay of Plenty community was that these were their beaches and they wanted to help clean them up.

    Operation Beach Clean was developed to harness volunteer energy effectively, positively and safely. The response from the public surpassed all expectations, with volunteers registering online at an average of four per minute over the first few days. A close working relationship developed over time with local iwi and hapū that continues to this day.

    Following the review into the incident, Maritime NZ began a comprehensive programme to improve and maintain the wide range of capabilities needed to manage such complex incidents. Activities have included: major All-of-Government (AoG) exercises; re-equipment and new equipment programmes; training development and implementation; a new readiness and response strategy and plans; and the establishment of support arrangements with both New Zealand and international parties for specialist support and rapid scaling up in the event of another incident. Work on these capabilities is continuous.

    The Rena Recovery Project, led by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in partnership with central government agencies, was declared complete in July 2015 and moved into a monitoring phase that continues to this day. Today, the Ministry for the Environment notes that the affected environment is recovering well.

    Maritime NZ’s investigation into the grounding and oil spill found the ship’s officers had ignored basic navigation practices and deviated substantially from the approved course as they hurried to get to Tauranga port. The master and navigation officer were imprisoned for seven months after pleading guilty to charges under the Maritime Transport Act (1994) and Resource Management Act (1991).

    Maritime NZ led the response to Rena, which was a complex and large-scale operation. A grounding and oil spill had not occurred on this scale in New Zealand before. Government response efforts, including clean-up, cost NZD $47 million, with over NZD $27 million contributed by the ship’s owners. The salvage was carefully overseen by the Government but paid for by the ship’s owners at a cost of NZD $700 million.

    “I am proud of the way our team responded to this significant maritime incident. On this ten-year anniversary, I would like to remember, and pay tribute to, their efforts today and emphasise the progress we have made to build our capability as we go forward,” said Ms Hewlett.

    “I would also like to acknowledge the support we received from our many response partners at the local, regional, national and international levels and as part of these partnerships, in particular, the work of the volunteers, councils, iwi and hapū, and the community of the Bay of Plenty.”

2021 December 2

11:36 Norway’s Eksfin tops NOK 10bn in offshore wind financing as Dogger Bank C reaches financial close
11:34 Annual throughput of Severnaya Zvezda project on Taimyr peninsula to exceed 7 million tonnes from 2026
11:10 MABUX: Uncertainty on Global bunker market to continue on Dec 02
10:00 Digital Twin Conference 2022 to be held virtually on 11-12 May 2022
09:33 Crude oil prices are rising in expectation of OPEC+ meeting
09:19 Baltic Dry Index as of December 1

2021 December 1

19:15 PortNews to hold Ship Repair, Modernization and Components Conference on 20 September 2022 in Saint-Petersburg
18:31 DP World celebrates 2,000 members of the Digital Freight Alliance
18:07 PR CMA CGM and Shell perform first Bio-LNG bunkering operation in Rotterdam
17:42 8 new fuel-efficient ships to join the X-Press Feeders fleet
17:26 Danish Smyril Lines Cargo starts second service between Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Rotterdam
17:06 Port of Antwerp invests in digitalisation of radar infrastructure
16:47 Western Australia and Port of Rotterdam to collaborate on renewable hydrogen
16:05 IMO moves ahead on GHG emissions, Black Carbon and marine litter
15:50 Diana Shipping announces completion of OceanPal spin-off
15:41 RF Federation Council approves Federal Law on Ratification of Nairobi Convention
15:04 Yang Ming adds the latest of its 9th 11,000 TEU ship to the Trans-Pacific service
14:07 SEA-LNG backs Europe’s goal-based, technology-neutral regulation for cleaner shipping
13:50 Liepaja SEZ Board appointed Uldis Hmieļevskis, Deputy CEO, as Acting Manager
13:14 Rolls-Royce extends TBO intervals of mtu Series 4000 engines for commercial marine application
13:03 Oil shipments via CPC Marine Terminal in 11M’21 climbed by 0.7% YoY
12:56 Valenciaport tenders the drafting of the urban development project for areas 2 and 5 of the Special Plan for zone 1 south of the Port of València
12:06 Mostotrest conducted 2,177 operations on raising bridges in Saint-Petersburg over navigation season of 2021
11:45 MABUX: Bunker prices may continue to decline on Dec 1
10:49 Russian Railways' network loading climbed by 3.3% in 11M’2021
10:15 Maersk Customs Services USA highlights trends and opportunities for U.S. importers
09:51 Port of Kiel receives funding for digital test field
09:30 Crude oil prices start rising
09:16 Baltic Dry Index as of November 30

2021 November 30

18:35 ICS urges WTO Director General to prioritise maritime transport in multilateral trade negotiations
18:14 First phase of Tuas Port reclamation works completes
17:53 Finnlines announces bunker surcharge for Malmö-Travemünde-Malmö
17:35 HDB, JTC and MPA, which issue over two-thirds of government invoices, offer e-invoicing through IMDA’s InvoiceNow
17:04 DNV supports world first large-scale testing of submerged CO2 pipelines
16:48 RF Navy’s large anti-submarine ship Vice Admiral Kulakov enters Barents Sea
16:34 Brittany Ferries takes delivery of Salamanca
16:04 Port of Oakland total cargo volume down 20 percent in October 2021
15:50 RF Navy's corvette Gremyashchy and two submarines of Varshavyanka project welcomed in Vladivostok
15:39 Abbey Heimensen appointed to VP of Marketing, MarineMax
15:34 The Port of Barcelona validates its Innovation Plan
15:19 Icebreaker Sibir of Project 22220 completed main part of shipbuilder’s sea trials
15:04 Terminal San Giorgio orders an eco-efficient Konecranes Gottwald ESP.8 Mobile Harbor Crane
14:43 Keppel Offshore & Marine signs global framework agreement with Ørsted on potential future offshore substation projects
14:24 DEME Group Signs Partnership Agreement with CIP for the Development of Energy Island in Danish North Sea
14:03 Volvo Penta to power Hurtigruten Svalbard’s new hybrid vessel
13:42 Rosterminalugol starts building wind and dust protection screens around its coal storage area
13:24 Kongsberg Digital and Aker BP extends collaboration agreement to accelerate data utilization
12:50 Container shipping costs up by 121.2% year-on-year - Xeneta
12:10 Navigation season closed on rivers of Saint-Petersburg
12:04 Ningbo Containerized Freight Index decrease slightly in November
11:48 1.59 million cbm of material dredged within Azov-Don Basin of Russia’s IWW in 2021
10:56 MABUX: Global bunker market turned into upward correction mode on Nov 30 after yesterday’s price collapse
10:42 China ports container volume rises 8.4% from January to October 2021
10:34 Port of Gdańsk awarded by the European Sea Ports Organisation
09:57 Klaipėda is preparing for the development of offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea
09:30 Crude oil prices continue rising
09:15 Baltic Dry Index as of November 29
08:33 MAN Energy Solutions upgrades four-stroke engines for green future-fuels

2021 November 29

18:19 Gazprom posts RUB 1.59 trillion of operating profit in 9M’2021
17:58 Wärtsilä partners with China Classification Society and Tianjin Port Group