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The Rena disaster clean-up will cost the taxpayer over $50 million, highlighting the Government’s folly of not passing legislation that would have seen the owners of the vessel picking up the tab, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
Labour has obtained Official Information Act documents from Maritime New Zealand that show the estimated costs to the taxpayer from the grounding of the Rena have blown out to $50 million.
“Kiwis have seen the heart-breaking environmental cost of the grounding. Now we know the total price tag for the clean-up will be $50 million, a large part of which Kiwis will be paying for.
“If National had incorporated international conventions on liability for damage into New Zealand law – which it was advised to do - costs to taxpayers would have been significantly reduced.”
“A Parliamentary select committee recommended such legislation be passed in 2008, with officials advising the National government when it took office to complete the legislative work.
“It didn’t - to the cost of New Zealanders – and still hasn’t, leaving it to Labour MP Phil Goff to propose the legislation as a Members Bill.
“The government should pick this up or get off its backside and introduce its own legislation. Otherwise, if another accident happens, taxpayers will be forking out again. It is simply not good enough,” Grant Robertson said.