Friday, January 25, 2013

Whatever happened to those prophets of doom?

It's around 15 months since the MV Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga. And it's around a year since the ship broke up, with one half of it sinking whilst the other half remained stuck fast on the reef. 

The Rena stranding was just before the 2011 General Election, and of course Labour and especially the Greens seized on it to attack the Government. Despite the alarmist rhetoric from Green MP Gareth Hughes that the Bay of Plenty would be devastated for decades, water purity around the reef was almost back to pre-Rena levels within a year of the stranding. And the fish doen't seem to be worried; Newstalk ZB reports:

Video footage taken on recent dive surveys of the sunken rear section of the Rena, shows the area is teeming with fish.
The US salvage company working on the wreck of the container ship off the Bay of Plenty coast says, at times divers have had to fight their way through large schools of fish around and inside the ship.
Resolve Salvage commercial director John Curley says dive surveys have shown there are no containers left intact in the sunken aft section.
"I think with the washing machine effect that goes on (on the reef) everyday, and the storms and stuff like that, we're not seeing piles of anything other than bits of steel and other wreckage."

That's great news. But it also shows that nothing has changed in all the years when prophets of doom have predicted that the end of the world is nigh. 

That marine life is flourishing around Astrolabe Reef is great news for the BoP's marine environment. That the dire predictions of those who used the Rena's stranding and demise for political purposes have failed to materialise is even better news.


Tim H said...


This is from yesterday:

"Scientists have confirmed elevated levels of contaminants including copper and carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons close to the Rena wreck on Astrolabe Reef in the Bay of Plenty."

These are scientists, not salvage crew with a camera.

Read more:

Keeping Stock said...

Look at the link you posted Tim; the 3News story is a rehash of a Greens media release. You can attach whatever weight you desire to it; quite frankly, I will attach around a feather's worth.

Quinting Hogg said...

An increase from background levels to trace levels old son.
Quite frankly there are more dangerous chemical compounds released in the ocean by undersea volcanoes north of NZ in a second than the amounts leaching from the wreck of the Rena.
And if you take anything on 3 news seriously you must be deluded

Tim H said...

It shows that it's incorrect that "nothing has changed".

Don't get me wrong, I think GH is a blight on the Green party and the contamination levels are extremely low and more than likely irrelevant.

But it's good to see someone is keeping an eye on it, and it's too early to call a win from either side.

bsprout said...

Yep, it only cost the country $130 million to clean up, thousands of hours of voluntary labour, caused a number of small businesses to go under and a few hundred dead birds. The twenty or so missing containers shouldn't cause a problem either, just a lot of fuss about nothing. ;-)