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Rena captain and officer sent to jail

Jun 29, 2012

from the article by Matt Bowne and Paloma Migone in the Marlborough Express:

....The men responsible for causing New Zealand's worst maritime environmental disaster by grounding the Rena off Tauranga's coast have been sentenced to seven months in jail.

...."There was substantial ecological damage to marine wildlife and seabirds, the food resources of the indigenous people who reside on the coast, the incomes of those whose living is made from the sea ... and an entire community was sent into shock."

....Colin Reeder, chairman of the Te Moana a toi iwi leaders forum, read out a victim impact statement.

He said tangata whenua had forgiven the captain and first officer.

"The sentencing of the captain and mate, whom have taken responsibility for the disaster, would seem to be a way of mitigating our anger and rage by directing it at them.

"However, as tangata whenua realise that they were only a cog in the machine that caused this disaster, we would rather direct our anger and rage at the system that allowed this to happen.

"The two men made a mistake that was generated by a need to save time. The root cause must be fixed as the potential will still be there after these two are sentenced. We won't be satisfied until this is remedied.

"Through restorative justice, Tangata whenua have forgiven the defendants, who were able to apologise to the community. That apology has been accepted. We do not however forgive the system that may allow this to happen."

Read the whole article.

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