The New Zealand government and the Greek owner of the containership Rena
reached a comprehensive financial settlement in respect to matters arising from the ship's grounding on Oct. 5, 2011.
Keith Manch, director of Maritime New Zealand, confirmed that Daina Shipping Co., a subsidiary of the New York Stock Exchange-listed Costamare Inc., will pay $27.6 million to settle the claims of the government and public bodies including Maritime NZ, Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Environmental Protection Agency, the Minister of Local Government (signing as the territorial authority for Motiti island), and the New Zealand Transport Agency.
"This was a very complex negotiation given the range of issues and parties involved, and represents a good outcome for New Zealanders," Manch said. "As with any settlement it is about finding a solution that both sides can live with, and I would like to acknowledge the constructive approach taken by Daina Shipping Company and their continuing commitment to meet their obligations under New Zealand law."
The settlement also recognizes that Daina Shipping and The Swedish Club (the Rena
's insurers) are currently investigating the environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts of different options for dealing with the wreck. In the event that they decide to apply for, are granted, and use a resource consent to leave part of the wreck in place, Daina Shipping will make an additional payment of $10.4 million to the government, reflecting their reduced salvage costs.
Konstantinos Zacharatos, secretary of Costamare, said "We have always sought to work closely with the New Zealand authorities to address all aspects of this serious incident. This settlement is a vital step forward in our progressive resolution of all the issues, and I want to thank the New Zealand authorities for all of their work that has gone into achieving this outcome."
Meanwhile, Kevin Clarke, managing director of the Australasian subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Co., the company that had been chartering the ship, said his company has established a "Rena
Recovery Fund" to distribute $1 million promised to the people of the Bay of Plenty where the ship went aground.
“We feel that now the resolution between the owners of the Rena
and the New Zealand government has been concluded, it is appropriate to now proceed with our pledge of assistance,” he said.
MSC has been in discussions with local representatives from the Bay of Plenty and an agreement has now been reached between the carrier, Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBPDC) and Tauranga City Council (TCC) as to the distribution of the funds.
The donation will be used to assist with the costs of cleaning up the Bay of Plenty waters and coastline, caring for wildlife, and local tourist businesses.
“We have a longstanding and positive partnership with the Port of Tauranga," Clarke said. "With 250 port calls per year they are important to our business. Following the grounding of the Rena
we wanted to support the wider communities of the Bay of Plenty with this goodwill gesture." - Chris Dupin