It only took a matter of a few days after the Rena's stranding for two parties in particular to become prophets of doom. We should all be grateful that their prophesies have not come to pass. But they have not gone unnoticed in the Bay of Plenty.
A kind reader sent us this link yesterday; it's to the Letters to the Editor of the Bay of Plenty Times for Friday 11 November 2011. And the letter to which our attention was drawn read thus:
I am disgusted at Phil Goff using the Rena oil spill as a photo-opportunity of him, so-say, helping to clean up our beaches.
At the same time he shows his ignorance by attacking the Government regarding the latter's response.
This is hypocrisy of the worse kind as he must be aware of the fact that the Rena hit the reef on a Wednesday morning but in the afternoon of the same day the specialist teams from around the world landed here.
You can't get a quicker response than that.
To the team's dismay it was found that the ship's oil pipe had ruptured and oil was already leaking.
Pumping equipment was flown on board and large amounts of oil were stopped from entering the environment by this method
Phil Goff's scurrilous remarks are an insult to the salvage crew who, often in extremely hazardous conditions, have worked night and day to remove the oil from the Rena.
The volunteers who have cleaned up our beaches are to be congratulated for the fabulous work they have done.
I hope the City Council has worked out a scheme to thank the salvage operators.
I am sure a huge number of Bay residents would support a gathering to thank them and the volunteers.
Catherine Thompson, Tauranga
We agree wholeheatedly with Catherine Thompson's opinion, and in particular her suggestion that some form of public recognition be given to the salvors. Perhaps this is something that the local MP Simon Bridges could turn his attention to.
In the meantime, Phil Goff and several Green MP's need to reflect on their public utterances from the early days of the Rena salvage operation. That all the oil has been removed from the ship with the minimum of damage to the environment is little short of miraculous, and is a credit to the experts who knew what had to be done and did it, rather than the opportunists who were only to quick to point the finger for political gain.