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.