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Saturday, October 8

Greens call on Govt. to release Rena's cargo list

The Green Party is today calling on the Government to release the Rena's cargo manifest — a document detailing the contents of the 2000 containers on board the stricken vessel.

"The National Government can calm local concern by releasing the cargo manifest of the Rena container ship grounded in the Bay of Plenty," said marine spokesperson, Gareth Hughes.

"As there are hazardous materials on board, the Government needs to be completely transparent about all aspects of the salvage operation.

"The likelihood of the Rena losing some, if not all of her load of 2000 containers into the sea becomes a distinct possibility as the situation deteriorates. The containers will become maritime hazards in their own right.
"The Government could allay locals' fears by releasing a detailed listing of the Rena's cargo."

Mr Hughes is frustrated by the Government's complacent response to what could become New Zealand's most significant environmental catastrophe in recent history.

"Why has it taken the Government three days to begin calling for specialists and specialist salvaging equipment from overseas?" asked Mr Hughes.
"The call for overseas specialists and their equipment should have happened on Wednesday. As we wait for them to arrive, we lose this critical window of opportunity provided by the weather to act.

"Not one of the Rena's 2000 containers has been removed so far. While the threat of an oil spill is a critical issue, it's not good enough to work on one problem at a time.

"Transport Minister Steven Joyce's fatalist comments are not reassuring New Zealanders that he is doing everything humanly possible to avert this catastrophe," Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hughes is today in the Bay of Plenty area meeting with locals and visiting the wildlife clean-up operations.