Westernport or Bay of Plenty?

It’s uncanny that while the business a usual brigade pump themselves up for their onslaught in and around Western Port, the Rena container vessel is still stuck on a reef in NZ’s Bay of Plenty, leaking oil from a gaping tear in its side and much of its cargo strewn on the seabed, in the water or littering the nearby coastline.
 What a bleak illustration of the compounded risks Western Port would face in Mr. Baillieu forges ahead with his business as usual plan.
Rena in Bay of Plenty NZ 2011
It’s also interesting that Rena is leased by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the same company which leased the container vessel Napoli, which grounded off the UK’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast in 2007. It too spilled its contents onto beaches along the Jurassic Coast. Debris included motor cycles, car parts, nappies, boxes of shampoo and oil-covered biscuits - which attracted sea birds that then fell ill after ingesting the oil.
Look familiar? 
Napoli off UK Jurassic Coast 2007
A mass effort was launched to clean the beaches and rescue oil-covered birds. Months later the vessel was broken in two with explosives as part of the estimated $100m salvage attempt which continued for two years. Whether or how much MSC contributed to the costs of that clean up is very hard to find out.
NZ Prime Minister John Key has already stated that most of the cost for the Rena disaster will fall to NZ taxpayers – an appalling consequence of flag of convenience arrangements. Not very convenient for New Zealanders is it!
It’s time we told ships registered in various shonky third world countries to stay out of our waters.

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