MARINE

Rena oil spill community meeting at Whangamata

Friday 28 October 2011, 6:17PM
By Waikato Regional Council
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WHANGAMATA

Maritime New Zealand will update residents on the Rena oil spill response and possible effects on the Coromandel Peninsula’s east coast during a public meeting in Whangamata this weekend.

At this time, there is no imminent risk of oil reaching the Waikato coastline. Latest trajectory modelling for the 5-10 tonnes of oil spilt from the Rena on Saturday shows the slick remains around the vessel rather than heading towards Tuhua/Mayor Island or Whangamata as previously thought.

The trajectory modelling being done by Maritime New Zealand is only indicative and has been very changeable due to the dynamic conditions on the water.

The public meeting will begin at 10am tomorrow (Saturday, 29 October) in the Whangamata Hall, 326 Port Road. As well as providing information about the response, Maritime New Zealand will answer community questions.

In the meantime, Waikato Regional Council responded to a Maritime New Zealand request to establish a forward operations base in Whangamata. It opened in the Thames-Coromandel District Council office on Wednesday and will remain at this time.

For more than two weeks rapid response equipment, including booms, has been in Whangamata ready for use if required. The regional council has transferred further equipment to Whangamata this week.

Some trained regional council staff have been involved in the oil spill response in the Bay of Plenty and are ready to respond in the Waikato, if required by Maritime New Zealand, as well as to assist in training more volunteers.

People wanting to register for possible beach clean-up in the Waikato should visit www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/rena.

Earlier this week, large logs were removed from Whangamata beach in preparation for the possibility of oil coming onshore. This annual clean-up operation was brought forward and is expected to make any beach clean-up easier.