5 October, 2012
Minister acknowledges Rena anniversary
Environment Minister Amy Adams today acknowledged the one year anniversary of the Rena grounding.
"I want to pay tribute to the hard work and collegiality of the local councils, iwi, businesses and the thousands of volunteers for the way in which they came together over the past 12 months to help minimise the impact of the grounding," Ms Adams says.
"Situations like this can bring out the best in people, and so it has been the case here. The work is far from finished, however, and our goal now is to restore the Bay of Plenty environment back to its pre-Rena state."
To aid that goal, an environmental recovery plan to address the long-term effects of the grounding has already made good progress.
The plan identifies the environmental issues for the beaches, seabed, water, fisheries, wildlife and management of waste and sets out who is responsible for the recovery and monitoring of each.
A governance group has been established to oversee the implementation of the plan and to make sure everything possible can be done to restore the environment.
Several scientific monitoring projects are also underway to get a better understanding of the environmental impacts of the Rena grounding.
The research will evaluate the success of clean-up techniques, help to inform oil spill response operations and will provide a wealth of knowledge about New Zealand’s coastal environment.
A wildlife programme will undertake impact assessments and initiate a habitat restoration for some sensitive eco-systems where endangered species breed.
At the peak of the response, more than 400 birds were cared for at a wildlife facility. These birds have now been returned to their natural habitat and will be tracked to assess their recovery.