One week ago the container vessel MV Rena ran aground off the east coast of New Zealand’s north island, she is stranded on the Astro Reef near Tauranga. At that stage the weather was clear and calm;
From what I understand a lot of valuable potential clean up time was lost while the weather was calm.
I am a New Zealander based in Croatia, on the radio here I was able to pick out something about environmental ‘catasphoe’ in NZ, and I have been watching, reading and learning about this VAST and tragic disaster since I first heard this news. Anxious to know what is not being reported in the ‘news’ I asked a Tauranga based friend what she knew, through this friend I was put in touch with a the ‘MV Rena Response Monitoring & Action’ Group that has been established on facebook.
The images that I am using here come via this group and I am following with interest, sadness and awe the ‘progress’ on cleaning up the mess that has been created by the grounding of this huge vessel. The ship was carrying 1,368 containers, eight of which contained hazardous materials, as well as 1,700 tons of heavy fuel oil and 200 tons of marine diesel.
By Sunday, 9 October, a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) oil slick threatened wild life and the area’s rich fishing waters.Oil from the Rena began washing ashore at Mt Maunganui beach on 10 October 2011. Bad weather that night caused the ship to shift on the reef, and the crew were evacuated. The shifting of the ship caused a further damage, resulting in a further 130 – 350 tonnes of oil leaking. (via Wikipedia)
My interest in this disaster is natural as a New Zealander/caring environmental person, my sadness is also a natural reaction to this disaster;
how can we not feel saddened?
And my awe stems from the strength of passion and the sharing and caring expressed by the members of MV Rena Group - together we are strong. The information, updates, video footage, photographs and thoughts that are being shared via this forum remind me how great it is to be a New Zealander, how together we achieve more, how in times of trouble we must pull together and how the combined voices of people who care need to shared and listened to. Will our government listen? What action will be taken and will lessons be learnt from this environmental catastrophe?
As I am writing this it is about 3am in New Zealand and these words were just shared to the group by someone who had stopped her car at the beach on her way home from work,
‘ there was a airy feeling standin there alone it felt like i have just lost a love one i know i have we all have it our beach our pride and joy. as i walked bck to my car tears rolled down my check as it was like i was saying goodbye. i dont know what i was feeling maybe it was sadness anger all in 1 i have no idea’
this was one of the first images that I saw, it also resonated very strongly with me.
Thanks to group members for allowing me to share your photos, and for all the work that you are doing, sharing and caring, you make me proud to be a New Zealander amid this mess. Kia kaha!
A news article and footage of the MV Rena
This link will lead you to an on-line petition to be presented to the NZ government when it has 50,000 signatures.