What the hell is going on with the Rena and New Zealand media ???

I live in The Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

It's not on this map - but KATIKATI - where I live is in the pink area, between Tauranga and Waihi on the coast.

I keenly seek out the news on the net. Lately I spend my time searching for updates on the Rena and the disaster that is occurring in my backyard.

Considering what is about to happen as bad weather moves in – there are precious few articles to be found anywhere on this – and it makes me angry – very angry.

The Rena is carrying approximately 2,000,000 litres of heavy fuel.


It is about halfway between Motiti and Mayor Islands. It is renowned for its pristine water with visibility of 6 to 30 metres for divers.

This is where the ship is right on top of. It has already leaked oil, and they are pouring dispersants all over the place when they can. Dispersants that then get into the food chain of the local wildlife.

Mayor Island is a marine reserve which is warmed by the East Auckland Current. This current draws subtropical fish species like Lord Howe coral fish, crimson cleanerfish and boarfish to the area. The sea floor has caves, drop-offs, pinnacles, hot water vents and black obsidian beds (volcanic glass). Dense forests of paddleweed kelp extend to 30 metres, and the reefs are covered with lace coral, cup coral, colourful anemones, sponges and hydroids.

Motiti Island is full of small sheltered bays with reefs between 5-18m deep. Like other Bay of Plenty islands there are abundant crayfish (lobster), paua (abalone) and scallops found around the island.

Along with many other New Zealanders I am frustrated at the delays, and length of time it is taking to repsond with any efficency to the looming natural disastor where I live.

Not far from my home is a breeding ground for the NZ Dotterel.

Near where this is all taking place.

There are about 1700 left in the world – should the oil wash up on the coastline, I feel sick at the thought of what it could do.

We are going to see problems because the breeding season is here for birds, dolphin and whale young could be threatened, the fishing industry could face huge problems – and what do the media here focus on?

The Rugby World Cup.

Yesterday a national newspaper had 10 pages of players’ drunken antics, match results, future game predictions, and tucked away on page 11 was 1 – yes 1 – article on the Rena and the threat it poses to the BOP region and its wildlife.

Do you want to know something ?

I couldn’t give a flying ‘*&%@’ at the moment about some stupid rugby player who gets drunk and behaves like an idiot !!!

It angers me that there are not more questions being asked, and that these questions are not front page of their papers.

This is New Zealand, where our clean environment is the corner-stone of many of our industries. Wake up NZ media – focus on the important stuff for a change !!!

This is also my home.

My beautiful home – and it is time to do something to keep it that way – before it is too late for the environment and those that live in it !!

These are the sands my feet walk on – my children walk on, and I hope my grandchildren will walk on – we must take better care of them !!

The comments will be updated with more news and information as it arises.


Updates from me…

Oil spill worsens as the Rena starts to crack.

The Rena finally breaks apart.



  1. UPDATE: Monday 1.30 pm here in New Zealand I received an e-mail news link.
    Mt. Maunganui
    Oil from the leaking shipwreck Rena is washing ashore at Mount Maunganui Main Beach.
    Maritime NZ has confirmed eight containers on board Rena contain toxic substances, with four containers holding ferrosilicon, a hazardous substance that is flammable when combined with water.
    Two other containers hold hydroperoxide, and a further two contain unnamed chemicals, both are classified as low toxicity.

    There is about 1700 tonnes of oil in Rena’s fuel tanks, with the emergency responders’ primary goal of pumping it off the ship stalled by today’s bad weather.

    Overnight about 10 tonnes was pumped off.

    There is about 100 tonnes of heavy fuel oil leaked into Rena’s duct keel and this poses an environmental threat as it cannot be pumped off the ship at this time.

    Sourced from SunLive


  2. All those reason Jo you mentioned above are Why the media is NOT reporting.. they probably know the public outcry… a lesson in Media control is FEAR… mongering.. and its ok to report wars etc and Terrorist acts and all the bad sorts of news.. But I know that many reports such as this sort get swept under the table.. Because its another reminder we are destroying Mother Earth….
    I hope that the oil doesnt spill, for it will be disasterous for the birds and aquatic life..
    Great Post you have done here Jo.


    1. You are probably right Sue – but it is already leaking out and coming up on the beaches – my heart is sick with what that means for our area.


  3. What a reality check Jo ! I found your blog by searching “Rena – what the hell?”. I typed in those words in a state of frustration and distress, not only with the media, but also with the public in general, on both sides of the straits, vacuously discussing rugby in the face of this unfolding catastrophe. And the crew, 1700 tonnes of crude oil sailing into one of the most pristine marine environments in the world, beyond horrifying. Yes, I’m distressed, teary again today, over here on the Sunshine Coast, a deep green friend you haven’t met. Lovely photos too Jo. I’m very concerned about your beautiful home, sick to the core actually. Everyone together, just send out the energy for the ship to stay intact, mother of mercy.


  4. Update: Thursday 13/11/2011 9.44 p.m. New Zealand time
    Today’s happenings:
    * 88 containers have fallen off the Rena with one containing alkyl sulfonic acid.
    * Mount Maunganui Beach to Maketu Point have been closed to the public today.
    * The Government may offer Bay of Plenty businesses compensation packages.
    * Mediterrean Shipping Company claimed they are not responsible for the incident.
    * MNZ said 50 tonnes of solid waste and five tonnes of liquid waste had been scooped from beaches.
    *Transport Minister Steven Joyce said salvage teams are working in very dangerous conditions.
    * Bay of Plenty residents living near beaches have been asked to keep their windows closed
    For more information click here.
    Recent videos of the ship and the clean up can be found here.


  5. For the latest update as at Friday 14/10/2011 4.37 p.pm.

    * More than 95 tonnes of solid waste has been collected from beaches so far.

    * 1000 people to hit the beaches for oil clean-up today.

    * Mount Maunganui Beach to Maketu Point is closed to the public.

    * Cleanup preparations are being made for Whakatane as the oil spreads

    * 88 containers have now fallen off the Rena. 20 of these have washed ashore.

    * 1000 dead birds have been found as at this afternoon.

    Click here for more info.




    For latest images…click here.


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