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The Green Party welcomes the independent review of Maritime New Zealand's response to the grounding of the Rena, announced by Government today, but says it is not the broad-based independent inquiry the country needs to best learn the lessons of the Rena.
The Green Party is also expressing concern about the appointment of Simon Murdoch to head the review.
"The narrow scope review of Maritime New Zealand's Rena response, announced a full 12 months after the event, shows that the Government lacks urgency and commitment to protecting New Zealand from future spills," said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
"This review into Maritime New Zealand's Rena response will help us learn lessons of how to respond to similar small scale oil spills, but this review misses the opportunity to evaluate Maritime New Zealand's entire oil spill response capacity - including our preparedness for a spill from deep sea oil drilling - or how to make coastal shipping safer.
"Maritime New Zealand's preparedness for a spill from a deep sea oil drilling operation is important given plans by Anadarko to begin deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand waters, next summer.
"The Rena captain himself has recommended the use of compulsory shipping lanes but the Government has rejected the idea without an inquiry into how we can improve our maritime regulations to make coastal shipping safer."
Mr Hughes was also disappointed with the lack of public input into the review, given that the terms of reference include reviewing Maritime New Zealand's "communications and community engagement" during the response.
"Given the massive impact the Rena disaster had on communities and iwi, and the tremendous involvement communities and iwi had in the clean-up, it would be appropriate to seek public submissions and listen to their suggestions for more constructive outcomes in the future," said Mr Hughes.
Mr Hughes questioned the wisdom of appointing Simon Murdoch to oversee the review, given he is the former head of the GCSB which is being investigated by police for illegal spying.
"Mr Murdoch is a long-serving public servant but given the on-going police inquiry, it would have been better to consider someone else for this role. The Green Party would have preferred the review to be conducted by someone with environmental credentials," said Mr Hughes