Rena’s hidden message

The Kapiti Coast could also suffer

an oil disaster

By Jan Logie
(Green Party Mana candidate) 

All New Zealand has been watching the environmental disaster unfolding in the Bay of Plenty.

The broken container ship Rena still sits precariously on the Astrolabe reef and bad weather has been closing in. I’ve been asked whether a disaster like this could hit us.

Well, the Rena holds 1700 tonnes of fuel oil, and innumerable containers. Already 300 tonnes of oil has leaked into our environment and a meagre 90 tonnes has been safely pumped out of its tanks.

Could the Kapiti Coast fall victim?

Here on the beautiful Kapiti coast some are asking, could the Kapiti coast fall victim to an oil disaster?

Sadly, the answer is ‘yes.’ In November last year, an oil spill in Taranaki led to oil washing up on our beaches here in Kapiti.

A year ago I raised concerns about prioritising short term economic gains at the expense of the environment. I pointed out that the environment is the basis of our core economy as well as our lifestyle.

This week an oil exploration ship arrived in Taranaki to start exploring for oil off Raglan for US oil giant, Anadarko.

NZ oil driller part of Gulf disaster

Anadarko was a part owner of the deepwater Horizon well which leaked 780 million litres into the Gulf of Mexico.

Since 1992, New Zealand has allowed uncontrolled entry to ships, like the Rena, that do not meet safety standards in their country of origin. Letting unsafe, “unwarranted” ships with thousands of tonnes of oil on board into our harbours is irresponsible. 

One of the reasons the Green Party is here is to help ensure that the Government does everything it can to protect our beautiful country. This is about much more than politics.

We are doing everything we can on the ground in Tauranga to help out with the clean-up. Local Greens will be out in force helping to look after the coastline and our MPs will be up there to provide support where they can.

Green solutions


The Greens would stop deep sea oil drilling and exploration. The Rena disaster shows that we don’t have the capacity to deal with potentially massive and catastrophic deep sea oil spills.

Higher standards are needed for coastal shipping that supports the use of local crews and ships that know New Zealand waters and hazards.

New Zealand needs to invest in our emergency maritime service so that they have the capacity and resources to respond quickly if accidents do happen.

We also need a stronger legal framework, so that when accidents do happen the corporations responsible are financially liable for their mistakes. New Zealanders should not have to bail out corporations for damaging our beautiful country.

There needs to be better enforcement of marine regulations by Maritime NZ to make them effective in protecting our marine environment.

And there should be an independent inquiry into the speed of the Government response, maritime regulations and the capacity of out maritime services to respond to accidents.

The solutions we need to prevent our beautiful Kapiti coast falling foul of an oil spill are known, all we need now is the will to make them happen.


Unfortunately we are locked into a catch 22, if we want our Kiwi Saver (KS) investments to pay out when we retire from now to 47 years time, then the global economy has to keep growing, or the KS investments will lose money.
The only way the system KS is invested in can grow, is via more and more oil extraction. That is the catch, we have to learn to live on this planet while destroying it.
For KS to pay out to the 18 year old starting his account now … in 47 years time New Zealands population will have to be around 10 – 12 million, that is what KS dependent 2-3% growth looks like, Kapiti would need several express-ways gashing through itself, and we would need to be consuming over 150- 200 million barrels of oil per day globally (that is a back of an envelope calculation?).
You can’t have KS without deep sea (or even moon) oil extraction, you can’t have KS without more ‘Renas’
One of the main problems is we peaked in crude oil extraction back in 2005-6 @ 74 ish million barrels per day, this year should show around 70 MBD (?) so clearly we need to get drilling.
Or maybe Jan you could explain how Kiwi Saver will grow for the people National and by proxy (as they supported it when it was bought in) The Green Party are planing to ‘co opted’, or ‘passive compulsion’ into joining KS?
How can anyone guarantee a pay out to an investor in the next 5 years let alone 47? Which of course the government doesn’t.
Maybe the Green Party could listen to some of what the 99 percent are saying