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Key’s Katrina

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, October 13th, 2011 - 213 comments
Categories: accountability, brand key, disaster, national - Tags: ,

One of the turning points of Bush’s presidency was the failed non-response to Hurricane Katrina.  It’s starting to look now very much as if the wreck of the Rena is John Key’s Katrina moment. The government moved too slowly, and squandered the good weather window. Now the ship is spilling both oil and containers, and is breaking apart.  It is New Zealand’s “worst maritime environmental disaster”.

Whatever the government does or doesn’t do now, it’s already too late.  Three days after the Rena ran aground (when even a guest poster to The Standard could predict the unfolding disaster and was pointing to the inflatable barges that could pick up the oil) the government was still playing pass the parcel on accountability1:

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the job should be left to the experts.  Under the Maritime Transport Act, it is Maritime New Zealand who is responsible for dealing with an oil spill.

Maritime lawyer John Knight says Maritime NZ have issued a notice under the act to the owner of the vessel requiring the owner take all steps to deal with the pollution and the salvage of the vessel itself.  If the owner fails to do so, Maritime NZ has the legal right to take full control and recover the costs from the owner.

Unsurprisingly, as we drifted leaderless, the hours and days ticked by with no visible progress.  Brian Rudman sums up:

A container ship whacks into the reef off Bastion Pt and for four days, officials stand by without a tissue between them to mop up the oil before it starts seeping into the porous volcanic shores of Rangitoto, down into the CBD and on to the eastern suburbs beaches.

Such a scenario sounds ridiculous, but it’s what happened last week after the container ship Rena ploughed into a well-charted reef 20km from the port of Mt Maunganui.  It’s the slowness of any first response action to the environmental consequences of this disaster that has shocked New Zealanders…

No wonder that local residents were so desperate that they defied the government to start clean up operations on the beach themselves.  The Greens’ Russell Norman doesn’t mince his words in this interview: Rena – It’s All The Govt’s Fault2:

Really it’s the government’s fault. … They had five days of calm weather, and they didn’t start pumping oil off the boat until the end of the fifth day, at which point the weather went really bad.

They didn’t order the boat to do the pumping probably until Friday … they missed the window of calm weather. …

The government’s response has just been astonishingly bad. …

We could have got the oil off in that time and the government didn’t do it … if they had two days of calm weather they [salvage experts] could get the oil off, and we had five days of calm weather. …

This has been an amazingly poor crisis management and the result is that we have oil all over the beach and all over some of our most pristine areas.

They still don’t seem to understand that this is an environmental disaster. From the start, they have had the Transport minister fronting.

True to form, what we have had from this government is lies, and John Key denying responsibility.  Key’s excuses fly in the face of his government’s earlier assurances that we were equipped to cope, and the lack of leadership on who was responsible for acting as the fine weather ticked away.  (At least Key hasn’t tried to claim that the spill would have been much worse under a Labour government.  Yet.)

And now we learn that, after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, government ministers looked at getting a specialised emergency response vessel but then dropped the idea without explanation.

Meanwhile the disaster has attracted international attention, see for example this piece in The Guardian, and this slideshow on the Yahoo news site.  The tattered “100% Pure” brand takes another hit.  And so does the increasingly tattered “Brand Key”.  We’ve just witnessed Key’s Katrina moment.

1 Speaking of passing the buck to Maritime NZ, the government assured us that they had “internationally respected experts”, with the team and the equipment required to respond:

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Maritime New Zealand is responsible for ensuring New Zealand is prepared for, and able to respond to, marine oil spills. The Marine Pollution Response Service consists of internationally respected experts who manage and train a team of around 400 local government and Maritime New Zealand responders. New Zealand has equipment and other stores strategically located around New Zealand. In addition, the Marine Pollution Response Service assists regional councils with exercise and oil spill equipment. The plan is responsive and is regularly evaluated to ensure it meets changing risk profiles.

What became of those assurances in practice?

2 And speaking of the government’s fault, this blogger places the blame much earlier, with National’s deregulation of coastal shipping in the 90’s.  Shades of the leaky homes fiasco.  Can anyone confirm or add more detail?

213 comments on “Key’s Katrina ”

  1. tc 1

    Get used to it NZ…..this govt has no issue with environmental damage caused by whatever business activity.

  2. logie97 2

    Would be interesting to see the social diaries of Messrs Key, Joyce, Smith, Wilkinson, and Perata for the 96 hours since Wednesday 5th at 02:15 am. That could throw some light on where this government’s priorities were. One suspects that they were desperately trying to squeeze some more mileage out of the RWC … oh dear!

  3. I’m not sure what’s worse, the Rena disaster or the political vultures screeching in vicious circles.

    Our political society is sick. It needs an injection of common sense people with real life experiences – who put priorities on fixing problems, not fixing their own addictions.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      And is United Future a cure, or a symptom of the disease?

    • Pete G that is a totally substance less comment.

      A question:

      If a large ship with 1700 tonnes of fuel runs aground just outside a major metropolitan area and starts to leak oil should the government:

      1.  Go to RWC events and do lots of smiling and waving?
      2.  Push the panic button and take control so that pumping of the oil can start as soon as possible?
      3.  Or perhaps adopt a middle course, do some smiling and waving but also be slightly panicked? 

      • Blighty 3.2.1

        according to the argumentum ad temperantiam fallacy, which most democratic politics seems to be based on: option number 3.

      • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 3.2.2

        Well, “panic” and ‘do something/anything’ are not much of choice. Or much good.

    • logie97 3.3

      You may be right Pete, but as we do not have the semblance of an MSM to ask the questions, a forum like this is a place for Joe Public to do their bidding, and we know that the likes of National-Party spin doctors read this site and we also know that commenters can get under their skin and expose some of the charlatans that purport to lead us.

      • aerobubble 3.3.1

        UK anti-terrorists dropped in on a ship in the channel because of fears of
        what the container carrier might be carrying. we’re an island! We have no
        land borders. If we can’t do navy defence then WTF.

        But its worse!

        Key does Pike River on the high seas. I was fed up hearing that safety was
        coming from the mine management. Was Key delaying for all the same reasons
        the introduction of anti-oil pollution ships!!! If they are drilling off shore
        then we should have the capacity to suck a few tonnes of oil off.
        Where were they, days of clear weather….

        Just like the mine, where safety features were wtill in the planning stage..

    • Blighty 3.4

      peter dunne’s hair would be a pretty good oil absorbent, wouldn’t it Pete?

      In fact, it’s completely appropriate for major political leaders to go there to make sure that what needs to be done is being done and to communicate with locals – as long as they aren’t diverting resources that are needed for the clean-up effort. That was the only concern with the Chch earthquakes, that PR opportunities were diverting resources from the emergency response.

      • kriswgtn 3.4.1

        “peter dunne’s hair would be a pretty good oil absorbent, wouldn’t it Pete?”

        hashahahahahhahaha hell wif that bouffant you could wash it and rent it out for such disasters

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      Common sense isn’t.

    • mik e 3.6

      your addiction to united past its used by date it a good example which you could lead by example and stop being so sensible and make a point of difference instead of being the most boring blogger just like the one man boredom band .

  4. The Voice of Reason 4

    The Maritime Union seem to know who’s to blame:
    Mr Fleetwood says comment by Transport Minister Steven Joyce that the Maritime Union’s views were “political” were accurate.
    “Mr Joyce is right. The issue is political. It is political because the John Key led National Government have been happy to have flag of convenience ships running on the New Zealand coast as a result of their political decisions.”
    “In this case their political decision to promote and allow flag of convenience shipping on the New Zealand coast has had real life consequences, which have proved far beyond the political ability and the practical ability of the Government to deal with.”
    “If we allowed trucks on New Zealand roads that were licensed in Liberia or some other semi-functioning failed state, and driven by unregulated overseas drivers, there would be an outcry. Yet that is what we allow on the New Zealand coast and now we are paying the price.”

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Ah, someone with the guts to acknowledge the truth: all these issues are political. National saying “it’s not political” is a highly political statement in itself.

    • Hilary 4.2

      Actually Liberia is starting to turn itself around under the leadership of some strong women. I suspect they may tackle this ‘flag of convenience’ issue, if they can stand up to the huge corporate interests behind it.

    • Dv 4.3

      And the Greeks who own the shipping line dont look too flash at the moment.

      • freedom 4.3.1

        I believe the owners of the Rena Monrovia ship are The Ofer Group. It is an Israeli family shipping business owned by the Ofer family. The Ofer family owns one of the largest private shipping companies in the world. So plenty of deep pockets to pay back the NZ taxpayer .

        • travellerev

          According the the Jackal (excellent research there) the Rena was previously called Zim America and owned by the Zim company in which the Ofer brothers bought controlling shares in 1999.

          The Zim company moved most of its 200 employees to Virginia in the two weeks preceding the events of 911 and the Ofer brothers have a long history of involvement with the Mossad. Funny how that keeps coming back eh?

          Oh, and FerroSilicon is used in the military for the production of hydrogen and can be used in the production of Nano-thermite.

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 4.4

      Please explain how long ships of flags of convience have been plying NZ waters, and what previous governmenst did about it.

  5. ak 5

    Actually, one can’t help but be impressed with the speed of the PM’s response to these disasters. At this rate, when the next disaster strikes, his decisive explanation as to why he’s done absolutely nothing for weeks or days will be almost instantaneous.

    • Yeah, at the speed of light “Oilly Slick” Key will say….
      “I don’t know”
      “I wasn’t there”
      “I was not at the meeting”
      I didn’t drive the ship into the reef”
      “It was like that when we got here” and my favourite….
      “This is what you get after nine years of Labour!”

      • marsman 5.1.1

        He did say his Government didn’t drive the ship onto the reef on the news last night.

        • freedom

          seriously? he actually said that on tv. Does he not know the difference between a blog post and a News service. Sometimes the guy makes Elmer Fudd look like a brain surgeon .

  6. In Vino Veritas 6

    It would appear that there are far to many experts on salvage sitting on their computers whining about John Key’s response to the MV Rena on the Standard, when they should all be in Tauranga imparting that expertise alongside Maritime NZ.

    • logie97 6.1

      … and your leader would be proud of you. Got a mirror by any chance?

    • freedom 6.2

      no, but there are plenty who remember the Hon Hekia Parata on April 12 this year say how Maritime NZ is all set for the big emergencies that are bound to crop up from time to time. (Read the link in the header above.) Remember how they were assuring NZ that any and all contingencies are prepared for?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3

      It doesn’t take a salvage expert to realise that you need to pump the oil off a stricken vessel before it gets in the sea. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realise that if said ship is registered in Liberia its parent company may not have the capacity or will to address the problem quickly.

      Apparently that was too hard for Joyce, and Key’s financial whizkid brain somehow failed to think it through, and the rest of them sat on their hands and hoped the problem would go away, or something. They wasted time relying on the invisible hand of the market to come and make everything better, and all they can say now is “it’s not my fault”.

      1. Repeal the National Party’s so-called Open Coast legislation by lunchtime.
      2. Require foreign registered ships to comply with NZ or agreed international standards, and prosecute harshly (seize ships and cargo etc.) where breaches are found.
      3. While we’re at in, end the practise of slave labour in NZ waters and fishing areas.
      4. Use Anne Tolley to clean up the oil.

    • freedom 6.4

      Vino , when oil can be pumped between compartments on a vessel. it can be pumped off that vessel. It is merely a question of will. We are kiwis for fucks sake. We moved hundred tonne logs with oxen and elbow grease. We built a coal train on a cliff face. We were the first to fly. We invented the hamilton River Jet. We split the atom and conquered Everest.

      We could have figured out how to connect a few pipes, and we could have done it in under four days.
      As i said, it is a question of will,
      and the will-nots are more concerned with the managing of photo-ops
      which is why they are getting hammered in photoshop

    • mik e 6.5

      What will we do with the drunken sailor.Let him keep sailing his deregulated ship onto the rocks.

    • mik e 6.6

      Ivvy leaguer we could have deployed New Zealand made wool oil booms on the beaches to soak up the oil even now .So much for Keys last election rhetoric proactive rather than reactive.Makes oil exploration look good yeah right

  7. Fair and Balanced? 7

    watch this interview from 3:40mins. John Riding of Mareco Marine in Wellington, an expert in marine operations:


    He says after Friday the actions to contain the problem were very good. He says that, in a perfect world, if he was in control, the oil would have been heating on Wednesday noon for removal Thursday afternoon. It takes at least 24hrs to heat the oil for pumping. This would have necessitated drawings of the ship, which most likely would have been on the ship. This leaves a theoretical delay between Wednesday noon and Thursday afternoon. That’s all. He admits there is any number of reasonable explanations for why this delay exists.

    There is clearly no evidence that purposeful delays or neglect took place.

    • Hi Fair and Balanced?,

      Just in terms of your summation of Riding’s commentary, the actions taken from Saturday (i.e., ‘after Friday’) were very good, implying that the actions until Saturday can be debated and questioned.

      Also, in his ‘The Panel’ interview, yesterday, Riding pointed out that at least one of the tanks would already have been heated as that would be used to draw the ship’s fuel. That tank, presumably, could have been pumped more or less immediately.

      However, there is the point I’ve heard a few times to the effect that the internal piping (or something) was broken and needed repairs and that that piping was necessary to pump the oil out. I’ve only heard that from Key but would be happy to have the information verified.

    • I don’t understand your point. You summarise John Riding who clearly says that oil could have started being pumped Thursday pm. It would have taken 40 hours so starting at midday Thursday that means all oil pumped by 4 am Saturday – still within the window of good weather and supports the notion that there was an unacceptable delay.
      Then you say: “There is clearly no evidence that purposeful delays or neglect took place.”
      What then would you call a deliberate decision to not mobilise available resources, turn down offers of help and wait for the salvors to arrive as being anything but purposeful and neglectful.

      • freedom 7.2.1

        as in CHCH this is looking more and more like circumstances are being manipulated by Insurance Companies directing what can and cannot be done at any particular time.

  8. I was the blogger you linked to regarding the deregulation of coastal shipping. Here is some evidence that concerns were raised in parliament in 1997 about employment concerns and the environmental risks, but in true National form Jenny Shipley waxes lyrical about the economic benefits. Nothing changes.

  9. Deuto 9

    Interesting, considering the number of posts and comments here re Rena, that Liberation includes the following comment in the middle of para 3:

    “It’s notable therefore that Labour’s friends at The Standard blog – who normally dive in boots and all at any opportunity to criticize or denigrate the Prime Minister and Government – have been conspicuously silent about Rena.”

    Sorry – haven’t included a link as this is the first comment I have ever made on any blog despite being a regular reader of the Standard and several other blogs. One step at a time!

    • r0b 9.1

      Welcome aboard!  I too was puzzled by that comment from Bryce Edwards, and have queried him about it.  

      “Conspicuously silent”?   http://thestandard.org.nz/tag/rena/ 

      • Puddleglum 9.1.1

        ‘Welcome aboard’?

        In the present context, perhaps there was a wiser choice of greeting 🙂 but, yes, always good to have people begin to contribute. Many (voices) is usually preferable to just a few. 

        • r0b

          Deliberate irony dammit – deliberate! That’s my story…

        • Deuto

          Lol! Very appropriate – as long as it is not onboard the Rena! While I find Liberation a useful tool for bringing together links and thank Bryce Edwards for that, I get annoyed at the anti-Labour stance often evident. In my opinion it denigrates an otherwise excellent blog/tool.

          • lprent

            As far as I’m concerned I tend to largely ignore the opinions of non-contributors when it comes to this site. I find that those uncommitted to getting their hands dirty improving the object of their criticism seldom provide much value (as they seldom do in real life as well).

            My general operation about critics is to look at those who write and engage here with a severely weighted scale towards authors, commentators, and trolls in that order. And yes, I do read the troll criticisms – because at least they made an effort and ran the gauntlet of moderation.

            But I suspect that when it comes to this site, Bryce is still delusional about it being run by the Labour party and tends to filter everything through that misconception. You’re correct, he does have a distinct aversion towards anything to do with Labour IMHO. It tends to strongly colour his views as in this example.

            There is a simple and effective answer to the critics. We just keep growing our audience. The number of people participating here and the page views are up about 40-50% looking at the equivalent periods last year (apart from the RWC effect last month when we only grew 25% over last September).

            The rate of increase will probably accelerate for the next few months (certainly is right now). But the interesting period for me is what it does after the election. We had a pretty major slump after 2008. But I suspect that we’ve built the audience with fewer trolls this time.

            BTW: But Bryce also has some pretty strange ideas about actual politics as well. I was having to quell my incredulity at his ideas about the reasons for the gradual disappearance of mass political parties when I attended a lecture of his up here earlier in the year. After being involved in on the ground politics for the last 30 odd years, I’d have to say that it is simply pretty damn boring unless you’re dealing with the mechanics (and boring even then). The difference between theory and practice I’d guess.

            • Anne

              Edwards bases his negative attitude towards Labour on what he reads in books etc. and talking to people like Micheal Bassett(?) with a few right wing partisan web-sites thrown in? I would say he has virtually no ‘on the ground’ experience. His ignorance and naivety – especially in an historical sense – is quite astounding sometimes.

              Perfect credentials for political commentating at TV1.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I was having to quell my incredulity at his ideas about the reasons for the gradual disappearance of mass political parties…

              I’m pretty sure that was covered when I was at Uni…but I can’t remember any of it. My own guess is that people have, over the last three decades as wages have decreased, become far too busy trying to earn an income to be involved with politics as well. If I was really paranoid I’d say that this was purposeful so that the ‘right’ people could run society rather than having a viable democracy especially considering that we don’t actually need to work that hard after all the productivity increases to supply ourselves with everything that we need.

              • lprent

                My own guess is that people have, over the last three decades as wages have decreased, become far too busy trying to earn an income to be involved with politics as well.

                That may be part of it but I don’t think that it is the major part of it – earning a living has never been an issue for myself or many of the others I know who are interested in politics, have attended meetings and/or joined parties. We’re all steadily disengaging from the mass parties.

                People typically get involved in politics because they want to know what is going on and what they do about it. But anyone who has been involved in the endless meetings both public and operational will tell you that the main reason they don’t attend is because they’re so damn boring. You sit around attempting to be polite listening to people droning and getting up to speed. Sometimes it gets interesting, but the time cost is immense.

                That wasn’t so much of an issue in 19th and early 20th centuries when mass parties arose because the choices were few about how you got information and got involved.

                The newspapers were a late 19th century development and quite expensive. Radio didn’t take off until the 30’s, TV etc etc – and they’re all broadcast media. So people went to meetings to gather information and to discuss. If you have a look at the constitutions of parties (especially Labour) you’ll find that they’re mostly still structured around getting lots of people to the same place at the same time, then hierarchically moving information from the base to the top.

                Which is an incredibly ineffective use of peoples time these days. The structure of the human voice is such that typically they wind up as broadcast systems with one person talking and others listening. In formation passed up a human chain is incredibly ‘lossy’ and subject to misinterpretation.

                It is more productive individually these days to get informed by reading cheap mass newspapers, listening to mass radio, watching mass TV, or read/listen/watch and participate on the net. But political parties are rather (ummm) traditional (and I do include the Greens 70’s structures in that as well). They are all still lagging in the 60’s and 70’s for their internal structures and haven’t figured out that to maintain a mass party system, you’ll first have to discard old models.

                Consequently people are voting with their ‘feet’ and setting up structures that work outside the parties.

  10. Laila Harre was right in 1997, I wonder who we should be listening to today:
    Party Vote Green!

  11. DavidW 11

    I suspect that the loudest critics will be the ones hardest to find when the inevitable enquiry reveals the facts of actions taken and responses made.
    Until then I for one will keep my own council and will refrain from displaying my ignorance for (among other things) marine engineering, disaster response management, hydrocarbon technology, seamanship, resource availability scheduling, the economics of disaster preparedness and oil spill containment for I fear that, like some without any self control will look like total dicks.

    What can be said is that the PR hasn’t been great but then it doesn’t matter if I am not kept up to speed with the detail as it happens if it means that the attention of those making the important decisions isn’t distracted for my edification or political ends.

    • logie97 11.1

      …thank you vicar. Such profound words from the pulpit. And will you be the first to say, “I told you so.” Or will you show continued humility then, as well.
      I wondered the other day, how long it would be before we got a spiritual dimension to this.
      Bless you.

      • DavidW 11.1.1

        logie97 .. sarcasm is not welcome in my church, say 10 Hail Marys and refrain from alcohol for a week.

        • Colonial Viper

          You’re an excellent authoritarian follower. Leaving it to someone else to control the ball without raising the tiniest question, even though they are clearly incompetent and slow you’ll kowtow to your elders and betters.

          • DavidW

            No, I just believe that when someone has their hands full, they should be allowed to get on with the highest priority tasks at hand rather than divert their attention away tio satisfy what is at best concerned but impatient bystanders and at worst mischevious white ants.

            There will be plenty of time to pick apart the sequence of actions and vilify anyone who makes errors of commission or omission but trying to double guess the surgeon during brain surgery is not my style.

            Call that being idealogically brainwashed if you like, I would call it something else so we may have to agree to disagree. Anyway I’ll let you get on with disparaging others.

            • Colonial Viper

              Yeah the bosses really had their hands full during the first 72 hours of fine weather and flat seas.

              Setting up little bird fix it stations, measuring the little oil spilled to date and writing notices to the ships owners.

              That’s the level of incompetence you are backing, you little authoritarian follower.

              • DavidW

                So Viper, you were there observing the response team sitting back with their feet on the desk were you? Monitored the phone and email traffic logs have you? Got yourself clued up on the handling and hazard characteristics of the particular fuel oil involved have you? Become an expert in rear-facing weather prediction have you? (well yes you probably have). Have an extensive knowledge of the engineering of ship stability and of moving and balancing cargo and fuel loads have you? Been inside the fuel tanks and assessed the feasability of getting suitable pumping equipment into them have you?

                No you want to sit on the sidelines hiding behind a childish nom-de-plume, safe in your anonymity and throw rotten tomatoes at people who are doing the real hard yards and who will stand up and be counted when it is all over. And also personally attack anyone who defends those responsible.

                My contempt for your sniping is unlimited, it is shallow and meaningless ranting but then I suppose if it makes you feel better you had better get it off your chest.

              • insider

                so what would you have done and when? What resources would you have needed to mobilise? How would they have got there? How would you have deployed them? How many people would you have needed? And how would this have differed from what has actually done?

                • DavidW

                  Don’t worry insider, she would have borrowed a magic wand from the wicked witch of the west and fixed it all with a stroke.
                  No wonder RNZAF nicknamed the PM’s flight in the years 1999-2008 “Broomstick One”

                  Unfortunately there remained some detritus left under the fingernails of the country in 2008 and it looks like it is still oozing out.

                  Fides et Patria

                  [lprent: Until this comment I’d pegged you as a boring fuckwit who doesn’t bother using their brains much, but was worth a read. However this comment however drops into irrelevant ’08 style trolling that appears to have made a whole pile of assumptions about insiders comment that are not there and has nothing to do with either the discussion or the post.

                  I really can’t be bothered with that kind of meaningless stupidity so you’re banned for a week, and I’d suggest that you read the policy before you come back about the kind of things that will trigger my anti-trolling instincts. ]

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    It will be interesting to see how the good tory voting citizens of the Bay cope with this delayed mis-management. All the aspiration and “living the dream” spin imaginable will not save this summer’s tourist money go round or the ecology of the Bay for several years to come.

    “Ten Dollar Tauranga” was the name some young people gave the town a while back in reference to the propensity for minimum wage to be the maximum wage (Thirteen-Fifty Tauranga is not so alliterative). It is a rather ‘white’ conservative town, not to mention Papamoa Beach.

    ShonKey deserves the “kick in the pants” that he told parliament beneficiaries needed, come this November 26.

    The National Party open coast policy of the early 90s has directly lead to this disaster with the FOC ships taking over coastal shipping. At least off shore oil exploration and extraction will be off the agenda for now one would hope.

    • Afewknowthetruth 12.1

      .Tory voters tend to be highly uninformed and vote on the basis of their own perception of their superiority. Things that happen in the real world are always the fault of lesser specimens of humanity. They will see Shonkey as a victim of circumstances and rally round….perhaps a few cake stallls to buy extra detergent from BP, of which they tend to be shareholders.

    • s y d 12.2

      the locals are angry…..nationals brighter future signs have been smeared with oil all along the main beach roads…..but the national party machine has been getting these cleaned up a shitload faster than the beaches…priorities eh

  13. randal 13

    When New Zealand is the place where everybody comes for a piss up then the future is looking brighter and brighter.

  14. freedom 14

    not seeing much information in the public arena from the new head of the EPA, Kerry Prendergast
    and also considering her Tourism responsibilities, surely this is someone who should be making clear and confident statements about the situation. They are overlapping and she is in a unique situation to be informed on the issues.

  15. drx 15

    I dont understand how it was possible to shift the oil between tanks BUT NOT off the ship?
    Any one know?

    • joe90 15.1

      Fuel as ballast.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        That still doesn’t explain it.

        They had working pipes and pumps to move the oil around the ship, which negates nick Smith trying to claim that the pipe/pump system was so dysfunctional that the oil could not be moved.

        • BWS

          I’m not an expert in these things, but the reason why the pumps and pipes weren’t working was that somebody decided to crash the ship at full speed onto a reef.

        • insider

          What we dont know CV is whether those inter tank pumps have the capacity to pump fuel overboard let alone whether the pipework existed. My car has a fuel pump that will supply fuel down a line to the engine but is it powerful enough to raise it in decent quantities through a metre or so? maybe, maybe not.

          Any information rather than opinion would be helpful.

          • Colonial Viper

            MNZ should have been on the Rena at 8am Wed morning assessing the state of the pumps, the pipes, the tanks and the heaters.

            Bet you they didn’t get down to it until the weather was about to turn bad.

            Stop making excuses for tardy incompentence.

          • Draco T Bastard

            My car has a fuel pump that will supply fuel down a line to the engine but is it powerful enough to raise it in decent quantities through a metre or so?


            Just about all automotive electric fuel pumps are capable of putting out, at least, 90 psi.

            So, yeah, probably and I suspect you’ll find that pumps capable of pushing HFO around a ship are quite capable of shoving it over the side.

          • Deadly_NZ

            It depends whether you have a ‘short pull, long push’ pump or a ‘long pull, short push’ pump. Most cars these days have the pump built into the tank, so that makes them short pull pumps. And if you put the wrong pump in they don’t run too good lol. Oh and with Fuel injection then everything is pressurised and you can get a good range on the fuel.

            The short and long pull pumps depended on where in the car the pump was in relation to the fuel tank, on the older cars. also was why a lot of the big ol’ 6 cyl motors from the PAX or PA vauxall or the 186 and 202 holden and the 4.1 crossflo motors always ran way better if you dumped the manual pump for an electric pump. And if you ran out of gas, when you put some in you just turned on the key and waited for the purring to stop that was the fuel lines all full again
            Hope that helps

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    In this piece Jonkey says that no country would maintain emergency response team capable of responding to a ship wreck and likens it to the Chch earthquake and the importation of foreign rescue crews. This is the normal leave it to the market response of ideologues. The theory goes like this:

    As such accidents don’t happen everyday we don’t need to maintain high levels of preparedness as we’ll just be able to import the necessary people from other countries (who also won’t be maintaining high levels of preparedness) that aren’t having an accident at the same time.

    In theory there’s enough skills and equipment to respond to any ship wreck around the world that can be called upon and the resources saved from not having high levels of preparedness can be put to other uses (more efficient in “economists” terms). In reality what happens is that the response is too slow and we end up with an oil slick and environmental disaster the cost of which is likely to be far more than the cost of maintaining adequate response teams.

    After that Jonkey says that we wouldn’t have the top experts because we haven’t had such an accident for 10+ years. This is, of course, a fallacy. If the response teams were being properly maintained they’d have training based upon lessons learned from recent accidents around the world. they may not be as experienced as those who have been through a recent accident but they’ll be just as knowledgeable (and, really, the training should be good enough so that the lack of experience would be a minor consideration).

    What we’re seeing here is another failure caused by “free-market” ideology.

  17. Afewknowthetruth 17

    The scariest words anyone is ever likely to hear: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help you.”

  18. queenstfarmer 18

    We’ve just witnessed Key’s Katrina moment.

    The situations are not even remotely comparable. There are however very transparent attempts by some people (including many here) to spin it that way, which is morally questionable but clever hardball politics if it works.

    Regardless of what actually happens (and facts sure aren’t getting in the way when people equate this to Hurricane Katrina, that killed about 1800 people) it is a lose-lose for the Govt. It is similar to when a refuge boat heads into Australian waters. There is no “praise” to be won, no “good response” by a Govt, only the chance for political opportunism which is now in full force.

    There is no doubt this could damage the Govt. The timing could not be worse, but that’s politics. It would be bizzare, to say the least, if a drunken Filipino captain on a Liberian flagged ship that hit a needle-in-a-haystack reef close to populated centre a month out from an election, could trigger the main election issue when all other issues have largely fizzled.

    • queenstfarmer 18.1

      On a lighter note I just realised that he may indeed have had his CatRena moment – last week he was talking about his cat, this week he’s talking about the Rena.

    • r0b 18.2

      Did you ever watch West Wing? The nuclear power station incident in the final season? Life imitates art sometimes.

    • logie97 18.3

      “…largely fizzled” in whose mind? Just because the MSM would rather promote “smile-and-wave” moments and feel-goods. Well here is an issue that may well expose our “Leadership.” Perhaps the dizzy little blonds who front as reporters on TV could do well to spend some time in the gallery at the Beehive, and report in depth on the calibre of government and its ministers.

      • queenstfarmer 18.3.1

        Largely fizzled in the public’s mind. There hasn’t really been a specific election issue. E.g. Labour’s CGT was supposed to be “the game changer”. It didn’t register at all in the polls, and has actually been little-mentioned since.

        I agree that here is an issue that could potentially create a specific focus. It probably won’t last though, because the issues should focus back on the economy, where the Govt does have some very tough questions to answer.

    • Puddleglum 18.4

      could trigger the main election issue when all other issues have largely fizzled.

      I suspect the economic issues will be well to the fore during the election. 

      But you’re right – who would have thought that an earthquake would delivered Bob Parker a political lifebelt? But, hang on, isn’t that an example of how incumbents are supposedly favoured in terms of disasters?

    • Afewknowthetruth 18.5

      ‘The situations are not even remotely comparable.’

      I have to agree. There is little parallel. The New Orleans incident was about Bush’s utter contempt for the lives of people who were mostly old, poor and black. Indeed, it was probably an experiment to see what would happen if people were prevented from fleeing the disaster zone.

      This is incident is about Key’s utter contenpt for the environment and the protection of the global corporations who are ruining it.

      Fortunaely for Key, we live in a society of dumbed-down consumers rather than informed citizens, so whatever is good for short term business and rorts still reigns supreme.

    • Colonial Viper 18.6

      The situations are not even remotely comparable. There are however very transparent attempts by some people (including many here) to spin it that way, which is morally questionable but clever hardball politics if it works.

      Big gobs of oil making their way on to beaches and into the sea, wrecking livelihoods, beaches, businesses and holiday income.

      Hows that for comparable?

    • Galeandra 18.7

      The situations are not even remotely comparable…..??????

      FWIW, the common thread is the neglectfulness / absence of leadership which is excusable when politicians have created robust well-resourced agencies to deal with said issues. Katrina, RWC opening, Pike River, Rena all have a background of political failure

      .Are the right forever doomed to live life with eyes wide shut?

      • queenstfarmer 18.7.1

        RWC opening and Pike River are good examples of the spin – the politically-motivated condemnation turned out not to be valid. Likewise the attempt to link this to a US natural disaster.

        • Colonial Viper

          The only thing not valid here is the pass you are willing to give to your political masters for their ineptitude and slowness.

          Which led to failures in design and operation at Pike River, and failures of resourcing and planning at Brittomart at the RWC launch.

          But you’re a free marketeer of course you would give the pollies a pass, pollies have no leadership role in running these things, just the private sector.

        • Puddleglum

          the attempt to link this to a US natural disaster

          I think the attempt, here, is to link the early response (or lack of) to the Rena incident to the early response (or lack of) to Hurricane Katrina.

          Reasoning by analogy involves using a source analogy that is thought to mimic the fundamental logic or characteristics of the target situation in respect of the feature of interest. Analogical reasoning is all about the selection of particular criteria upon which the analogy depends.

          To make a point about the respective governments’ responses, the analogy with Hurricane Katrina is apt – especially so since, as I understand it, one of the defining aspects of Katrina for Americans was Bush’s (lack of) early response to it. 

          I suspect you understood all of that but tried to divert discussion towards all the ways in which Hurricane Katrina could be understood as different from the Rena incident. That they differ in many ways is entirely beside the point – and has no bearing on the validity of using Katrina as an analogue for Rena. 

  19. fabregas4 19

    I appreciate that there is little or no humour in this situation but you do have to love The Sun


    ‘It’s a black tide. But not the one New Zealanders wanted to see’.

  20. Seen this?

    New FaceBook page…………


    “Would John Key and his National Party be worried about the General Election that will be happening in 6 weeks, and the way they have handled all disasters to date and now including the Major Oil Spill in Tauranga with the lack of directive action towards helping clean up after a disaster?”

    My response included the following…………..


    How ‘leaders’ react to disasters can have significant electoral outcomes.

    Look at Christchurch.

    My understanding is that Jim Anderton was seen as a ‘shoo-in’ as Mayor before the Christchurch earthquake.

    Was he elected Mayor? No.

    In my considered opinion, National will regret tying their electoral fortunes so much to ex-Wall Street bank$ter John Key, who was a Foreign Exhange Advisor to the New York Federal Reserve in 2000 when he worked for Merrill Lynch – where he specialised in Euro bonds and derivatives.

    As the world rises up against Wall Street BANK$TERS – why on earth would New Zealanders want to relelect one of them?
    ………….. ”


    Others might like to comment here as well?
    Nothing like diversity in discussion and robust debate on the issues! 😉

    Penny Bright
    Independent ‘Public Watchdog’
    Candidate for Epsom

  21. fabregas4 21

    A made up conversation:

    Punter: That Rena Oil Spill is bad news and not a good look for NZ’s Clean Green Image

    PM: Well I could find you several experts who would tell you that an oil spill is very good for the environment and that we remain 100% oil free (compared to other countries).

    Punter: Not good though that during our big moment in the Rugby World Cup an important tourism opportunity, the worlds papers are focusing on a major environmental disaster in our waters and on our beaches.

    PM: I was so enjoying the rugby, texting Richie and Dan and all, but actually if I fly to Auckland and focus on IRB functions it will seem like all this isn’t happening at all so lots of reasons to remain positive (if you don’t live in Tauranga, the Mount, or coastal Bay of Plenty and if you not a bird or some sort of sea life).

  22. outofbed 22

    I think the following article really describes the Governments attitude to the environment
    “New Zealand is set to veto any attempt to completely protect the world’s last unexploited ocean – so a lucrative fishing industry can continue operating. ”
    So Nick Smith, why the belated concern over Nz maritime environment, but fuck all concern, if it is unseen?
    Fuck these guys are muppets

    • marsman 22.1

      @outofbed. Does Avaaz.org, the on-line protest action group, cover situations like this? They now have 10 million members, even if only a portion of those people protested it should have some impact even on the arrogant Nats.

  23. OK folks!

    Some FACTS about the ‘Crown Entity’ – Maritime New Zealand, and links for more FACTS – FYI….




    Who we are

    Our vision – A vibrant viable maritime community that works and plays safely and securely on clean waters.

    Our mission – Working together to provide inspirational leadership, guidance and support to the maritime community to achieve the vision.

    Te manaia – the guardian

    Te Manaia, the ancient Māori symbol which sits alongside Maritime New Zealand’s name, was chosen because of the value it symbolises – guardianship.

    This is a fitting symbol to reflect Maritime New Zealand’s role – to make life at sea safer; to protect the maritime environment from pollution, safeguarding it for future generations; to ensure New Zealand ports and ships are secure; and to provide a search and rescue service that people can call upon to assist them in one of the largest search and rescue areas in the world.
    What we do

    Maritime New Zealand is responsible for:

    developing and monitoring maritime safety rules and marine protection rules
    licensing seafarers and registering ships
    conducting safety inspections of all New Zealand ships and foreign-flagged ships calling at New Zealand ports
    investigating and analysing maritime accidents and accident trends
    educating the maritime community about best practice in safety and environmental standards
    ensuring that relevant port facilities and New Zealand ships meet the requirements of the Maritime Security Act 2004
    providing and operating lighthouses and other aids to navigation for ships on the New Zealand coast
    providing a coastal maritime safety and distress radio service
    managing the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand

    maintaining the New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy and National Contingency Plan

    administering the New Zealand Oil Pollution Fund

    overseeing services provided by organisations under contract, mainly in the areas of marine radio services and the Safe Ship Management system.

    Maritime New Zealand profile

    Download [PDF: 791Kb, 12 pages]
    Organisation governance and structure

    Maritime New Zealand is a Crown entity established in 1993 under the name Maritime Safety Authority. It was renamed Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) in July 2005.

    Maritime New Zealand is governed by an independent Board appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport. The five-member Authority directs the overall Maritime New Zealand strategy, and appoints the Director of Maritime New Zealand. The Director manages the organisation and has independent statutory powers under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

    Maritime New Zealand Director and Authority member profiles
    Minister of Transport – Hon Steven Joyce [New Zealand Government]
    Associate Minister of Transport – Hon Nathan Guy [New Zealand Government]
    Maritime Transport Act 1994 [New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office]
    The Maritime New Zealand Executive team:

    Director of Maritime New Zealand – Catherine Taylor

    General Manager Maritime Services – Sharyn Forsyth
    Licensing, Ship Registration, Safety Management Systems, Regional Operations,
    Recreational Boating, Health and Safety, Rules Exemptions, Nautical Advice, Technical Advice

    General Manager Monitoring and Response – Bruce Anderson
    Maritime Investigations, Safety and Environmental Audit,
    Maritime Security and Incident Response, Marine Pollution Response Service

    General Manager Strategy and Communications – Lindsay Sturt
    Safety Research and Analysis, Environmental Research and Analysis, International Relations, Education and Communications

    General Manager Safety Services (RCCNZ) – Nigel Clifford
    Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand, Aids to Navigation, Distress Radio

    General Manager Corporate Services – Trevor Coad
    Finance, Planning and Risk Assurance, Information Services, Business Management Services

    General Manager Human Resources – Anne Greenwood

    Chief Legal Counsel – Stephanie Winson

    Maritime New Zealand organisational chart [PDF: 15Kb, 1 page]
    Our structure and offices

    Maritime New Zealand has approximately 140 staff working throughout New Zealand – most are based in Wellington.

    Maritime New Zealand offices:

    national office, Wellington
    10 regional offices at all of the major ports around New Zealand (Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Napier, Nelson, Picton, Lyttelton, Dunedin and Bluff

    Marine Pollution Response Service Centre, Auckland

    Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand, Lower Hutt.

    Contact Maritime New Zealand
    Our accountability documents

    As a Crown entity, Maritime New Zealand has a responsibility to report to parliament and the public on our performance.

    The statement of intent outlines our policy direction, while our annual report shows what we have achieved.

    Statement of intent 2011–2014 [PDF: 895Kb, 83 pages]

    Annual report 2009–2010 [PDF: 1.58 Mb, 140 pages]

    Penny Bright
    Independent ‘Public Watchdog’
    Candidate for Epsom

    • KJT 23.1

      No names I recognise. So no senior staff of MNZ have actually been at sea recently on the NZ coast.

      There are some more junior ones who are fine, but I doubt if they have any say.

      The boss is a chair polisher, all the accident investigators are ex cops, and the new boss is the ex chair of the real estate institute.

      They may have plans for Africa, but did they get anyone with any nous to audit them?

  24. Bob 24

    A note left by a defaced Junkey election sign ” We will clean up your sign when you clean up OUR beach ” I can imagine as the frustration builds from lack of action and information more of this will occur . Also people have been banned or deleted from Junkey and Simon burned his bridges face book sites for posting questions the nacts dont want to face up to .
    This is highly toxic sludge the responses to the locals has been appalling .

    • In my considered opinion, it is unlikely that Simon Bridges will be re-elected as the National MP for Tauranga, as locals are likely to vent their anger and frustration at the Rena oil spill in a meaningful electoral way.

      In my experience, politicians do understand one thing – VOTES.

      Penny Bright
      Independent ‘Public Watchdog’
      Candidate for Epsom

  25. Key’s Katrina?

    Man you guys have really jumped the shark.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 25.1

      Yeah, but you’ve got to work with what you have got. No point in relying on the opposition to change the government.

    • Tiger Mountain 25.2

      What I took from the Katrina head was that similar to Dubya; ShonKey displayed slow response, indifference and transference of responsibility in a disaster situation.

      Advance concerns had been indicated for years about New Orleans-flood management systems. Likewise the then Seafarers Union alerted anyone who would listen about National’s 1990s NZ Flag of convenience coastal shipping deregulation. Attendant worries being slave crews and incompetent Masters and navigators. Based on oil spills in the UK and other places that used FOC rust buckets.

      • insider 25.2.1

        This wasn’t a coaster so the deregulation issue is not valid, unless you are discussing it in the context of cabotage. But even if you could prevent it going port to port within NZ, we couldn’t have prevented the ship entering NZ waters and picking up export cargoes as long as it met inspection standards.

        • Tiger Mountain

          You have answered your own points really insider. This cannot be considered other than in the context of cabotage. Inspection standards-what inspection standards, see what the Maritime union has to say about this ship.
          http://www.munz.org.nz/tag/itf/plus the Maritime Union

          • insider

            MNZ answered those questions http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/news/media-releases-2011/20111010d.asp before the union put out its release it appears. good to see the union ahead of the game.

            I think the cabotage issue is a red herring because the vessel could equally have gone on the rocks if it were coming direct from or leaving for overseas, and the vessel standard would have been no different.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I think the cabotage issue is a red herring because the vessel could equally have gone on the rocks if it were coming direct from or leaving for overseas, and the vessel standard would have been no different.

              I actually agree with you there. Accidents happen no matter what the rules say. That said we do need to have good rules, regulations and processes that minimise the possibility of accidents happening. A radar and satellite ship control system similar to aircraft control would probably help but that, of course, would require the government doing even more and upping taxes.

            • mik e

              Insighter Covering your ass this ship shouldn’t have been in New Zealand waters .It had problems in singa pore Australia and a near miss and sub standard papers in bluff.This is the same deregulated disaster that Pike river turned out to be shortcuts that New Zealanders pay for with their lives and money, Their is only $14 million in the insurance kitty to clean up this mess liberian registered we will never see the rest of the money in our lifetime.One of the RWNJUs yesterday was saying the company MSC was one of the biggest shippng cos in the world and they wouldn’t let us down any bets on that.

            • KJT

              Except, like most overseas ships it was also carrying cargo between NZ ports.

    • Zorr 25.3

      If The Standard is that irrelevant, then why are you still here?

      (plus, if there is any shark jumping to be done we better go somewhere else other than BOP to find them)

  26. Hmmm,
    Threat to RWC – McCully takes over immediately and uses emergency powers.
    Threat to Tauranga’s coast – National washes hands.
    I wonder what the difference is?

    • Draco T Bastard 26.1

      The first was over, wasn’t going to happen again and so NAct could take over, do nothing and still claim credit while the latter is a result of their policies and will be in the news for years to come.


    “But while there was no option but to wait for a crane ship to arrive from Australia, there were apparently options to start pumping out the Rena’s oil on the same day it was stranded. Ronald Winstone, of Auckland’s Lancer Industries, says he sent Maritime NZ an email offering the use of two inflatable barges capable of carrying up to 100 tonnes of oil at a time. He says he never received a reply.

    He told Radio NZ the barges could have been sent on a truck and inflated within an hour of arriving in Tauranga. More importantly, they could operate in seas of up to two metres and they would have been able to empty the tanks well before the stormy weather blew in at the weekend.”


    OPINION: As oil from the stricken Rena washes ashore on Tauranga’s beaches and rare and endangered seabirds are threatened by the toxic slick, Kiwis are asking searching questions about the ecological tragedy unfolding in the Bay of Plenty. The one that must be answered most urgently is whether more could have been done since the ship was stranded more than a week ago to avert New Zealand’s worst environmental disaster.

    In particular, there are serious questions about whether Maritime New Zealand acted quickly enough to try to get the 1700 tonnes of fuel oil on board the Rena pumped out of its tanks during the four days of calm seas and settled weather immediately after the grounding. Given some of the information at present in the public domain, there are concerns the answer may well be “no”.

    There is no doubt the stranding of the ship was particularly problematic. Not only was it carrying enough oil to nearly fill an Olympic-size swimming pool, it was also carrying more than 1300 containers, some of them holding toxic material. The situation was compounded by the fact the ship was 20 kilometres offshore – where the booms usually deployed to contain oil spills would not be effective – and by New Zealand’s lack of a ship with the special crane needed to unload the containers at sea.

    But while there was no option but to wait for a crane ship to arrive from Australia, there were apparently options to start pumping out the Rena’s oil on the same day it was stranded. Ronald Winstone, of Auckland’s Lancer Industries, says he sent Maritime NZ an email offering the use of two inflatable barges capable of carrying up to 100 tonnes of oil at a time. He says he never received a reply.

    He told Radio NZ the barges could have been sent on a truck and inflated within an hour of arriving in Tauranga. More importantly, they could operate in seas of up to two metres and they would have been able to empty the tanks well before the stormy weather blew in at the weekend.

    Instead, the company engaged to salvage the Rena by its owner, Daina Shipping Co, waited for the arrival of the recovery barge Awanuia, which had to first unload at Marsden Pt before sailing to Tauranga. It did not arrive till Sunday, and was then out of action for a short time after it bashed into the Rena and was damaged. The delay in starting to pump off the oil may well have been crucial. …”



    Penny Bright
    Independent ‘Public Watchdog’
    Candidate for Epsom

    • Draco T Bastard 27.1

      In particular, there are serious questions about whether Maritime New Zealand acted quickly enough…

      That’s not the question at all but it is a part of it. The question that needs to be asked is: Did Maritime New Zealand have the resources necessary to respond? The answer, according to our PM, is No, they didn’t.

      • insider 27.1.1

        We could have barges and crews and emergency vessels sitting at every port in NZ just in case, just as we could have a security guard on every front door to prevent burglaries, but it’s a balance between cost and risk. It’s always easy to chuck money at things, especially taxpayer money. It could end up a very deep hole though.

        IF you compare the actual response rather than perceptions of what didn’t happen, it looks like a textbook example in line with similar recent events in Aus.

        • Colonial Viper

          The only fucking deep hole here is filled with 1700T of bunker oil

          I note insider doesn’t bother to cost out the price of being unprepared and slow.

          I see the Government is promising his precious tax payer dollars to compensate businesses hurt by this. NATs looking after their own constituency lol

          Hows that for a use of your precious tax payer dollars matey?

          but it’s a balance between cost and risk.

          I bet you every resident around the Mount thinks you got this balance calculation fucking wrong.

          • Tiger Mountain

            Insider’s minimising is just running interference for the Nats who are quite likely to give some in their little tory enclave a bit of a top up to keep things sweet. No argument there even if the charter ops etc. are likely tory voters, but if we are talking cost/benefit…..

            Another major disaster-the NZ economy, sees little in the way of jolly ups for redundant, unemployed or precarious workers and their families.

          • insider

            I agree with you that should be part of teh calculation.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I bet you that nearly every resident in NZ thinks the government (our representatives) got this balance calculation fucking wrong.


        • KJT

          Which we should have learned the lessons from.

          This one was within 8 hours steaming from our three biggest ports.

          Awaniua’s crew were already ringing around discussing ways and means on The day of the grounding.

          Without Awanuia an empty barge could have been used as a start. Plenty of tugs around that can operate in calm water.

          It dosn’t take huge amounts of money to have contingency plans, using what we already have with a few salvage pumps and trained people added.

          You were asking about using the oil transfer pumps to pump oil back to another ship or barge.
          Fairly easy. May need to take off some blanks or add a temporary hose between flanges.

          Or even get a marine shop to make up a section of pipe. Some vessels engineers can do that on board.

          It is also a survey requirement to have manholes at the top off all fuel tanks which are accessible at sea. Accessible to submersible pumps.

          We pumped 20 odd tons of fuel oil out of a hold last year after the tank was ruptured by a container. It was cold and difficult to pump, but it could still be pumped.

          Also in the past pumped whole tanks out in tankers, (600 to 1000 tons) when valves have failed. Pumps were at Marsden Point and Auckland.

          • KJT

            Note that having the plans in place to deal with maritime accidents is what MNZ are paid for!

            • insider

              Ke4rry thanks for the info above

              But you can’t say there were no plans. MNZ have plans and strategies for Africa.

              • Colonial Viper

                ACTION in the first 72 hours is what counted. And they blew it.

                Maybe they wanted those overseas experts to proofread their plans first?

                The fucking Minister in charge should have been firing bazookas at the staff in the first 12 hours when he saw nothing happening except word processing and emails.

                • insider

                  so tell us again, what would you have done and when? What resources would you have needed to mobilise? How would they have got there? How would you have deployed them? How many people would you have needed? And how would this have differed from what has actually done?

                  • ak

                    Insiderthekeyhole: gor blimey yer honour, what else could I ave done? No job, the missus and the kids starvin and at me at me all day, tried me best yer worship, did evvyfing a man cud fink of, put yersef in me shoes for a minnit guv, youd do it too I warrant, wasnt me guv, forced to do it i wuz, forced i tells ya, whats a man to do i mean, what else couldve i dun….eh? eh? See even the flippin praam mincer agrees wiv me guv, a flaming stich-up it is, i tells ya, what else cud i have dun?

                  • mik e

                    World expert on Campbell live Thursday binsider

                  • Jenny

                    Insider you continue you maintain that nothing could have been done.

                    Yet it was!

                    Hoses and submersible pumps were dropped on the vessel from helicopters and with the tiny amount of time remaining before the weather closed in to stop operations, 10 tonnes of oil was pumped into the Awanui.

                    It has been claimed (and no one has disputed it), the Awanui could have emptied all the oil in 40 hours.

                    I have seen no plausible excuse from anyone on why this operation couldn’t have been started days earlier.

                    Call yourself an “insider”?

                    I challenge you to explain this?

                    You won’t, and this will be the last we hear of you on this thread.

                    I might add, that even if the Awanui wasn’t available there were lots of other options.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Well, first off, the government could have followed the recommendations from the experts over a year ago and got a full bloody ship designed for such happenings ordered, built and crewed. Simple, really, and your excuses for such incompetence are just that, excuses.

                • Deadly_NZ

                  How can the minister in charge go “Apeshit” at MNZ when the govt froze MNZ’s funding in 08?? Ahh hell I have put this up once but for this thread.


                  SO really blaming MNZ is anger mis guided it was out Dear Leaders cronies, who are to blame. But oh no never the Dear Leader.

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 27.2

      Inflatable barges. In rough seas. Over a reef. That had just skewered a steel hulled ship.


      • Colonial Viper 27.2.1

        Hey fuck head did you completely miss the 5 days of good weather and flat seas last week?

        I ask because I know Joyce and Key did,.

        • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

          No, and nor I did I miss your profanity which is arguably in breach of Standard policy, specifically “pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others”

          Now, back to the subject at hand: infaltables right next to a reef which just nailed a steel hulled ship.

          How long would it take to access the site, prep the site for evac, evac the oil, travel, unload the oil to a suitable place, make multiple trips, ….

          And please dont resort to type and simply quote the manufacturers figures which fail to takle into account for half the above.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Now, back to the subject at hand: inflatables right next to a reef which just nailed a steel hulled ship.

            I highlighted to bits you seem to have missed. Like most idiots you don’t seem to realise that an inflatable raft doesn’t A) draw as much as a ship and B) would be held off from the reef by the boat towing it.

            I was even nice enough to correct your really stupid spelling.

        • Anthony

          I love that Joyce is fronting this because he can’t help coming across as a condescending prick, because he is a condescending prick.

      • KJT 27.2.2

        Inflatables are the best option to put alongside a ship. Why most of the new pilot boats are RIBs. And the Awanuia has Yokohama fenders.

        In case you didn’t notice the sea was flat calm for several days.

        I did. I was out on it.

        Yet more BS from your alternative universe..

    • mik e 27.3

      penny they did except 2 more in the end but have still not taken up the wool booms which would be good at absorbing oil on the beaches at high tide

  28. KTY 28

    Poor John Boy his end of term results appear to be in quession.
    The end of term party is under threat by being over shadowed by a lack of contingency plans, that should have been put into action immediately. One can only wonder if there would have been a faster response if there was a direct threat to sundays semi final game.
    I agree that there are good reasons why a response could be delayed but surly there are enitial steps that should have be taken to minimise any dangers that might be caused, any action would be better than no action at all.
    For 3 long years Mr smily has been in the national media showing how well he thinks he is doing by showing us how he can mince down a cat walk, gain time on popular American t..v. shows and make him self look like the original country bumbkin. he has spent tax payer money giving us a big cycle way for us to play on and decrease the unemployment rate, while he has been riding around in helecopters. There is even a new game out called Johny Hood where you can take from the poor and give to the rich. Yet in a national emergancy be it earthquake, oil devistating our coast lines where quick devisive leadership is required or whatever the response has been before any thing is done is to sit down form a working group and think about it

    Sorry John Boy, 3 years of your Buffoonery as a leader of this country is too much to take.

  29. Rijab 29

    Mr Wobbly Man can’t keep balancing much longer haha

    View post on imgur.com

  30. ak 30

    …so there we wuz eh, jus cruisin along doin frock all jus smilin and shakin hands wif all the suck-ups an workin on the ole tan an the papers pickin all the good piccies an makin me look like saint frockin Jesus in a suit an every prick luvin me an the munters doin all the work an a private gang of goons to keep the nuttas away an keep the piss cold wrinkly ole chix an reporters an all blacks creamin emselves at me feet an home n hosed all the way to chrissy in harwhyie an

    Nek minnit

  31. alex 31

    The response would have been much much faster with the Greens in govt. Was good to see a photo of Goff in the Dom today with a shovel, next to one of JK smiling and looking like he wanted to do some waving.

  32. johnm 32

    What we’re saying here is we need for this disaster a strong man who cares and who is capable of kicking butts and organising resources for a rapid response. A man who will fight when NZ is in danger.

    Not a limp wristed milk sop beaurocratic twat who doesn’t care isn’t upset it’ll all come out with the wash I’ve made my pile from currency speculation nothing I can do! type useless neo-liberal asshole!

    Boy kiwis do suck!

  33. There is obviously a major contradiction between those whose primary interest is saving the ship and the cargo – whose primary focus is on SALVAGE, and those whose primary interest (or should be) is saving the sea, sea life and sea shore from environmental damage and whose primary focus (or should be) is on minimising the the OIL SPILL?

    Where is/was the clear ‘chain of command’ for the different parties involved in this scenario?

    Where’s the template ‘organisational flow chart’?

    Who ‘trumps’ who?

    Why did the ‘plan’ that Maritime NZ is supposed to have for oil spills not ‘trump’ the salvage plan?

    Why did Maritime NZ not take up the offer from Ronald Winstone of barges into which the oil could have (at least attempted) to be pumped?

    If the oil was capable of being shifted from one tank to another on the Rena- why couldn’t it have been pumped off the Rena?

    Why weren’t ocean booms used – while the weather was more favorable, to help contain, and ‘corral’ the oil spill which already existed, in order to help prevent it reaching the shore?

    In my view, it seems that apparently prioritising the ‘property rights’ of the ship and cargo owners hasn’t worked particularly well for them – or the environment?

    Maybe those like Stephen Joyce and John Key who support, and are more used to the ‘laissenz-faire’ ‘hands off’ / ‘market model’ – don’t adapt very readily or quickly to situations where a clear ‘chain of command’ and leadership from the top is obviously vital.


    12 October 2011 – John Key:

    (Note the focus on SALVAGE – not OIL SPILL?)

    “I want to assure you that the Government has done everything it can to reduce the environmental impact of this situation, from the moment the ship hit the reef.

    Currently weather conditions are delaying salvage attempts, which is frustrating for all of us. Some people have asked why the salvage team didn’t get the oil off the ship earlier, while the weather conditions were clear.

    The nature of the ship’s grounding, and the holes in ship’s hull and keel, created a number of very difficult issues for the salvage team. This included extensive damage to the ship’s own piping when it hit the reef, which meant the salvage team had to cobble together pumping and piping systems in order to pump oil from the ship.

    The Government is putting every available resource into the clean up and recovery efforts, and this will continue…”

    Penny Bright
    Independent ‘Public Watchdog’
    Candidate for Epsom

  34. freedom 34

    “Prime Minister John Key is challenging those who think the Government’s response to the Rena disaster was too slow to put up or shut up.”

    in my life, most kiwis i have met respond well to that sort of antagonism,
    usually by making the challenger eat their words

    • freedom 34.1

      let’s look at one problem, the oil hitting the beaches
      here’s an idea , NZ has a lot of fishing trawlers, trucks and sheep

      trawlers have nets, nets can be laid on the beach,
      wool bales can be put onto the open netting ,
      the bales can be split and the wool spread over the netting,
      the netting can be gathered and cabled close
      the wool boom is trawled out into the sea and gathers the incoming oil
      some trawlers working the coastline, other booms can be working around the source
      the dirty booms are collected by other trawlers, whilst at sea and disposed of in some co-ordinated effort that does not involve it hitting the beachhead.

      this can all be done willingly and safely by volunteers, many of whom would have all the relevant skills to run the operation along various locations

      We have plenty of trucks, trawlers, nets and wool and i see no reason this operation could not be up and running with the first boom in the water within 24 hours, if there was the will to solve the problem

      I came up with this operation in probably four hours after reading the PM’s challenge
      i used basic problem solving based on available resources

      I think many who make decisions these days have been paying too much attention to how the rest of the world does things and has forgotten the secret weapon of this country

      We, are New Zealand

  35. freedom 35

    Any maritime lawyers out there know anything about salvage rights in relation to beachcombing.

    Is it not legally correct that whatever washes onto a beach can be claimed by the discoverer?

  36. Todd 36

    For posters on here that would consider themselfs smart such as Penny Bright and Draco,their comments about technical issues such as shows them up to look fools.I dont intend to get into a discusion with fools that show they are almost void of brain cells,but suffice to say that after 25 years as a 1st engineer on a container ship (as well as plenty of other ships)they are almost retarded in their comments.

    • To which FACTS or CONSIDERED opinions do you most take exception Todd?

      If you cannot engage in robust debate Todd – and put forward your considered opinion substantiated with FACTS – then may I respectfully suggest that the one who comes across as a ‘fool’ – ‘almost void of brain cells’ is arguably yourself?

      (Meant of course in a caring and respectful way 🙂

      Penny Bright
      Independent Public Watchdog
      Candidate for Epsom

    • lprent 36.2

      Not bad considering that you also appear to be in the hotel business? And elsewhere do a lot of investments. And….

      Busy boy.

      • felix 36.2.1

        lolz. I’ll bet he was a mining consultant last November too.

        • higherstandard

          There were hundreds of those all over the interwebs, bit like the current situation with the ship on the Astrolabe reef.

  37. Afewknowthetruth 37

    In a year full of disasters there is one tiny bright spot. NPDC has just decided to stop poisoning the folk who live in the district with hydrofluorosilicic acid.


  38. infused 38

    Jesus, get your facts straight. They were on this since day 1.

    “They still don’t seem to understand that this is an environmental disaster. From the start, they have had the Transport minister fronting.”

    There is no PR person for Maritime NZ.

    “And now we learn that, after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, government ministers looked at getting a specialised emergency response vessel but then dropped the idea without explanation.”

    The idea was never dropped.

    • felix 38.1

      Ah, the idea was never dropped. Brilliant.

      So why didn’t they send the fucking idea out into the Bay of Plenty 8 days ago?

  39. Todd 39

    Not bad considering that you also appear to be in the hotel business? And elsewhere do a lot of investments. And…

    Didnt want to spend life at sea now im 56 Iprent made alot of money at sea enought to invest,have any more questions for me?.Still it is great to have a varied career but do miss engineering.

    • felix 39.1

      I have one.

      You write like a 7 year old. How have you managed to work in such a variety of occupations with such successful results, yet not seem to have picked up any basic literacy skills?

  40. Todd 40

    Just proves a point really.one does not need to be well educated to do well in life and make allot of money.Would do the same again if I had my life over instead of going to varsity and limiting prospects of earning potential.Lefties hate people like me,this I realized many many years ago.

    • NickS 40.1


      I heart bullshit strawman, since the base of teh left in NZ has never been solely intellectual/university based, but worker focused. But hey, why pay attention to history when you can just make shit up amd play teh (false) persecution card?

      • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 40.1.1

        If the left was worker-focused as per your mythology, why do so many of their policies hinder and hurt the working class:
        – telling them what schools to send their kids to,
        – telling them how they should travel to work
        – overtaxing them
        – telling them what superannuation non-choice they have
        – telling them what medical non-choice they have
        – forcing them to belog to organsiations
        – imposing high-cost goods on them through tarrifs an trade barriers
        – etc …..

        • Campbell Larsen

          If you really were a curmudgeon (def: http://www.concentric.net/~marlowe/curdef.shtml) then you would not be applauding the mediocrity that is National, and your comments would be ‘softened with humor’….
          You certainly don’t have an ‘astute perception’ or a ‘sly wit’ and your denial mechanism is working just fine.
          I will grant you misanthropic, you seem to have mastered the generalized dislike, distrust, disgust, contempt or hatred of the human species that is typical of the voters and policies of the right.

        • Draco T Bastard

          You mean, saving them the dead weight loss of capitalist profit?

        • NickS

          – telling them what schools to send their kids to,

          Sorry, why exactly was zoning, especially in the some what weak way it was done, such a bad thing? Particularly as it sorted out the stupidity of kids not being able to get into school just around the corner, because it was stuffed full of kids from half a city away.

          – telling them how they should travel to work

          lolwut? Me thinks you doth mistake “suggesting” for “ordering”, besides it’s no brainer that public trasnport systems, when well designed and funded, have very high rates of use as people find them a lot cheaper (and less annoying) than sitting in a traffic jam. Especially when it leads to lower car costs for oneself…

          – overtaxing them

          lolwut? Oh, that’s right, you seem to think that there’s a majority of workers on over 70K a year, instead of the median wage level of around 32-34K/year.

          – telling them what superannuation non-choice they have

          Except you can opt out of kiwisaver and sign up to a private plan numpty.

          – telling them what medical non-choice they have

          Because private health insurance is such a great choice, except if you earning at or bellow the median wage and then it covers jack all and you’re invariably faced with no real choices except a lowered life expectancy…

          Of course, amusingly enough, you’re ignoring the assistance of Southern Cross, but as that’s a “non-profit” org, evidently it can’t possibly exist…

          – forcing them to belog to organsiations

          lolwut? Not in last three decades numpty. Oh wait, that’s right, you one of those idiots who fail to understand that the role of student unions is more akin to that of local government in terms of services offered and responsibilities involved…

          But hey, why think critically about whether or not the “union” in student union is actually a union when you can make lazy bullshit arguments instead?

          – imposing high-cost goods on them through tarrifs an trade barriers

          I love people who fail basic history.

          Both parties supported those in order to try and build the national economy up, following the same worldwide policies, that is up until the 1980’s when trade deals and economic realities bit on mismanagement and bloat, particularly the increase in bloat under Muldoon. It’s not say that tariffs and trade barriers aren’t useless though, as they can allow for environmental and social costs to be added, say for example increased taxes on booze due to various alcohol related accidents increasingly costing ACC more and more.

          Of course, you’d probably argue that they should suffer, but that ignores the economic looses caused by failing to do anything about those injuries to businesses…

          And then there’s raising taxes on tobacco in order to fund anti-tobacco adds and try and minimise the healthcare costs. Which if for example, your “brilliant” dream of private HC insurance were to come to pass, insurance companies would “invite” you to stop smoking via higher premiums or denying you cover on tobacco related illnesses even though you’ve paid cover for them, thus leading to death and cessation of tobacco use.

          However, to the point, tariffs are not a possibility for imported goods due to WTO agreements and free trade deals with relevant states, so what the fractal fuck you’re complaining about is somewhat beyond me with anything other than alcohol and tobacco. Especially as high costs for goods in NZ are driven by shipping companies and importers margins, leading to much annoyance by some of us at the stupid prices for video games in store and online, as well as tramping gear. Which is fucking expensive compared to the EU or USA. /grrrrrrr

          – etc …..

          Awwww, and here was me hoping you’d start whining about climate change and proclaiming that civil unions waz teh badzors11!!11!

    • felix 40.2

      I smell troll.

  41. randal 41

    Well Key wasn’t on the news tonight. I gues they finally figured out that the public have just about had a gutsfull of him leering at them everynight like some coked up yuppie. skiting about how wonderful he is.,

  42. Thomas 42

    Katrina: over 1,836 people dead, $81 billion worth of property damage, 26 million litres of oil spilled.

    Rena: some dead birds, ship and cargo lost, less than a million litres of oil spilled.


    • felix 42.1

      Katrina: A do-nothing leader and his corporate-focussed govt fail to deliver a timely, effective response to an issue of great national importance.

      Rena: Ditto.

      You knew that’s what the title referred to though. ‘Cos you read the post, right?

    • willie maley 42.2

      Kartina: Elected leader of the country does not turn up for days.

      Rena: Elected leader of the country does not turn up for days.

    • Draco T Bastard 42.3

      Why is it that RWNJs such as yourself think that life other than human is worthless? Especially considering that that life (the ecosystem in general) is what allows us to live on this plant?

    • McFlock 42.4

      Lol: so on the same day in one thread you argue that extremely narrow comparisons between otherwise completely different political systems is the way to go, and here you seem to suggest that an extremely narrow comparison is farcical because the two events have very different broader characteristics.
      JATT – just another tory troll. 

  43. Jim in Tokyo 43


    “If there’s any silver clouds, and there’s not many, or linings, in this one is on the beaches is the quickest way to clean this up.”

    Someone’s got their face buried in a bag of corexit…

    • mik e 43.1

      Jnt Jin and Toxic Just look at fukushima lucky shipley didn’t have to deregulate that industry here

      • Draco T Bastard 43.1.1

        I heard, through an email from a trusted person, whom I know but won’t name, that if Shipley had managed to deregulate that industry here then we would have had a Chernobyl before Chernobyl.

  44. John 44

    Infrastructure and rational structural naval policing of our islands is a business failure in this country, the state must protect our islands from the obvious’s of the modern “as cheap as possible” business arrangements. The Mount is one of most beautiful and spiritual beaches in the world. Fuck this. Fuck these crude business bullshit arrangements. That’s a spiritual homeland covered in oil.

    • Draco T Bastard 44.1

      Infrastructure and rational structural naval policing of our islands is a business failure in this country…

      It’s not a business failure at all but a government failure. The failure to regulate and ensure that the necessary equipment and skills were available.

  45. randal 45

    I think it is about time John Keys got on his bike and went for a long ride.

  46. John 46

    and a southern hemisphere island ran out of drinking water today. We need to plan for 2020 – 2050. It’s time to build not go backwards. Backwards is bad O.k. The greens are right, sustainability is economic and social gold.

    • Draco T Bastard 46.1

      and a southern hemisphere island ran out of drinking water today.

      And the solution was a desalination plant – run by fossil fuels which peaked in 2005/6. There’s a problem here that isn’t being addressed.

  47. Wayne91 47

    Campbell Larsen
    13 October 2011 at 8:42 pm
    “I will grant you misanthropic, you seem to have mastered the generalized dislike, distrust, disgust, contempt or hatred of the human species that is typical of the voters and policies of the right.”

    Wished anyone would hurry up and die lately Campbell

    [lprent: Do you want to examine how close a permanent ban is to death? Or you could stop with the silly questions unless you can make a point with it. But I suspect that would strain your synapses beyond their upper limits if you have to use them for anything more than meaningless and poor rhetorical point scoring. ]

    • Draco T Bastard 47.1

      To be honest, I’m not even sure he managed the meaningless and poor rhetorical point scoring.

      • lprent 47.1.1

        What can I say. When moderating I like to encourage people to improve their skills in staying out of my ‘view’. It is easier to leave them some hope that they are not hopeless and they do improve rather than going though the exercise of banning them and having to wear the evil grin. 😈

  48. randal 48

    hey tod, if your seamanship is on the same level as your grammar and syntax then its a wonder there aren’t more maritime disasters.

    • Draco T Bastard 48.1


      Actually, from what I can see, Todd is probably one of the many reasons why NZ managers score so badly on management skills.

  49. Jenny 49

    Why did our “NATIONAL PLAN FOR SUCH DISASTERS” fail us?

    Despite the apparent lack of action for four days, John Key has revealed that according to him, “a national plan for such disasters had been put into action the moment the ship hit the reef.”

    Prime Minister John Key stood in Maketu saying he understood why frustrations were boiling over.
    A national plan for such disasters had been put into action the moment the ship hit the reef, he said.


    What was this plan?

    If our ‘National Plan For Such Disasters’ was according to John Key, implemented immediately, why was the window of fine weather missed?

    How and when were the decisions and directions of “the plan” to be actioned?

    Beginning with the grounding of the Rena, what was the time line, starting – from when the plan’s first orders were given – to when these plan’s orders were implemented?

    What were these actual decisions and orders?

    Crucially, when were they made?

    Who were the people who made them, and who were the people charged with the responsibility to see that these decisions and orders were carried out?

    In the light of the poor results resulting from our ‘National Plan For Such Disasters’ I think we the public need to see this plan. That is if we are ever to begin the debate on where the ‘National Plan For Such Disasters’ failed us.

    The record of when the ‘National Plan For Such Disasters’ was put into action” should include a detailed timeline from “the moment the ship hit the reef” till the pumping operation was started.

    Rather than have to wait on an OIA, I think that John Key should volunteer to release the internal records of how, what he has called our “national plan for such disasters” was carried out.

    • Jenny 49.1

      The above questions could only have answers if “A National Plan For Such Disasters” as Key called it, actually existed .

      Would I be unjust in asking: Was Key lying to the angry and grieving people of Maketu about the existence of “A national plan for such disasters”?

      If there is such a plan, surely that can’t really be it’s official title, so if it exists what is it’s real title?

      And if a “national plan for such disasters” does exist why is John Key not able to recall it’s official title?

      Did John Key callously make this stuff up off the cuff, just to make people of Maketu shut up about his government’s lack of action?

      • Jenny 49.1.1

        What’s going on?
        Why does the link I had to John Key telling the people of Maketu that there was a plan and that it had been activated the moment the ship hit the reef no longer seems to exist?

        Luckilly I kept a copy of the full paragraph from the original link.

        Here it is:

        Prime Minister John Key stood in Maketu saying he understood why frustrations were boiling over.

        A national plan for such disasters had been put into action the moment the ship hit the reef, he said.

        “Unfortunately, we have to deal with the cards dealt to us.”

        Residents cried at a public meeting last night as they took in the extent of the spill and what it could do to their fishery and environment.

        Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) director Catherine Taylor tried to calm frayed nerves by telling the locals ”people recover”.

        As you can see the quote not only catches Key in a probable lie, the MNZ director Catherine Taylor, is quoted as saying “people recover” tantamount to telling them “get over it”.

        I didn’t imagine that I would not be able to go back to this link again so I didn’t copy the whole article.

        If anyone could help me retrieve the full article I would appreciate it.

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