New Zealand Government Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a $2 million package to help Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) improve New Zealand’s wider maritime response capability following an independent review of its response to the grounding of the container ship 'Rena' off the coast of Tauranga in October 2011.
Conducted by former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Murdoch, the review identified several areas for improvement.
Mr Brownlee says the Rena response was about more than oil, and the key recommendation from the review involves developing a wider response capability and associated contingency planning to address both oil and non-oil issues such as salvage, debris and other pollution. “To do this the Government is providing more than $2.05 million over three years to fund a package of work by MNZ to address the risks posed by future complex maritime incidents.”
- developing a wider maritime incident response strategy extending beyond oil pollution response to including salvage and volunteer plans
- clarifying functions and strengthening capability around salvage
- eviewing the response management structure, including increasing skills through secondment and training
- increasing cross-government coordination, including a national emergency management exercise to test whole-of-government readiness for maritime incidents
- improving procurement and supply processes to ensure financially prudent expenditure during an incident response.
On an operational level, 100 GPS ‘pingers’ will be purchased to facilitate location and salvage of containers in a maritime incident – equipment that was not immediately available for the Rena response.
“What this Government wants, along with all New Zealanders, is an assurance that if the worst ever did happen, we’d be able to marshal all available resources to respond quickly, effectively and safely.