$27.6 Million Rena Settlement Reached

If owner Daina Shipping Company and its insurer, The Swedish Club, decide to apply for and receive a resource consent to leave part of the wreck in place, Daina will make an additional $10.4 million payment.

Three days before the first anniversary of the day the MV Rena container ship ran aground on a reef of the New Zealand coast, Daina Shipping Company, its owner, reached a financial settlement Oct. 2 with the New Zealand government. Keith Manch, director of Maritime New Zealand, confirmed Daina will pay $27.6 million to settle the claims of the government and public bodies including his agency, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Environmental Protection Agency, the minister of Local Government (signing as the territorial authority for Motiti island), and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

The Rena ran aground Oct. 5, 2011. Salvors removed all of the containers that had not washed overboard -– and recovered as many of the latter as possible -– and continue to cut the ship's steel into pieces for removal from the damaged reef.

More than 8,000 people volunteered to assist in the cleanup since the grounding occurred, according to Maritime New Zealand.

"This was a very complex negotiation given the range of issues and parties involved and represents a good outcome for New Zealanders," Manch said. "As with any settlement, it is about finding a solution that both sides can live with, and I would like to acknowledge the constructive approach taken by Daina Shipping Company and their continuing commitment to meet their obligations under New Zealand law."

The settlement recognizes that Daina and The Swedish Club, the ship's insurers, are currently investigating the environmental, social, cultural, and economic impacts of different options for dealing with the wreck. If they decide to apply for and receive a resource consent to leave part of the wreck in place, Daina will make an additional payment of $10.4 million to the government in recognition of the owner’s reduced salvage costs.

"We have always sought to work closely with the New Zealand authorities to address all aspects of this serious incident. This settlement is a vital step forward in our progressive resolution of all the issues, and I want to thank the New Zealand authorities for all of their work that has gone into achieving this outcome," said Konstantinos Zacharatos, a representative of Daina.

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