Rena: $50m bill for taxpayers
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 2:46p.m.
The taxpayer's bill for the Rena disaster clean-up will reach about $50 million, a newly-released document from Maritime New Zealand shows.
The Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe reef off Tauranga in October last year, spilling oil and cargo into the sea, in what became New Zealand's worst maritime environmental disaster.
An undated briefing paper, from Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee to cabinet economic growth and infrastructure committee chair Bill English, was released to the Labour Party under the Official Information Act.
Mr Brownlee recommended Mr English approve a $10m funding increase to Maritime New Zealand from the transport budget.
The agency had committed all of the $27m it had available to the Rena clean-up, and estimated it would need an extra $10m to cover the cost of its "significantly reduced" response for the remainder of 2011/12.
The $10m sought was on top of the cost the Crown had already incurred from the disaster, which was approximately $38.9m as of February 21.
"The eventual possible total cost has been estimated at around $50m," the paper says.
Further funding was likely to be needed in the government's 2012/13 and 2013/14 budgets, but was included in the four-year transport budget plan in 2012.
The paper also says the Environment Ministry is working on a separate paper on the long-term environmental recovery plan, which was estimated to cost $3.2m over three years.
Labour's environment spokesman Grant Robertson says the cost shows the government's "folly" of failing to pass legislation that would see the Rena's owners pick up the tab.
A select committee recommended passing such legislation in 2008, and officials advised the National government to complete the legislative work when it took office that year - but it failed to, Mr Robertson says.
Labour MP Phil Goff is now proposing the legislation as a members' bill, but Mr Robertson says the government should introduce its own.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
A stranded orca has been rescued from the Kaipara Harbour after commercial fishermen noticed it stuck on a sandbank.
Earlier this month a group of friends decided they wanted to see the great outdoors and raise a bit of awareness about the environment.
The sweet smell of rubbish has caused problems for police in Los Angeles after a black bear caught a whiff.
A 15-year-old school student has developed a new test that could detect cancerous tumours before they become too advanced to treat.
Super tornadoes are likely to happen more often as the world warms, according to NIWA.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.