Rena's Owner Pleads Guilty to Charge

The firm was fined $300,000 on Oct. 26.

One of New Zealand's worst environmental crises is nearing its end, as Daina Shipping Co., the owner of the container ships Rena, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Resource Management Act relating to the discharge of harmful substances following the grounding of the ship in October 2011. Maritime New Zealand announced it welcomed the guilty plea.

Daina Shipping was fined $300,000 on the charge. "The guilty plea by the owners has led to this case being resolved in a timely fashion, and that is to be welcomed," MNZ Director Keith Manch said. "The completion of this prosecution marks another step in the response to the grounding of the Rena. There remains a lot of work to be done in the recovery process, and MNZ continues to oversee the wreck removal process."

The ship was carrying materials defined under the act as harmful substances or contaminants, including heavy fuel oil, tons of hydrogen peroxide, tons of alkylsulphonic acid, tons of ferro-silicon, tons of trichloroisocyanuric acid, and tons of potassium nitrate, as well as bulk wine, operational waste, animal pelts, dairy products, fabrics, cement, and machinery parts.

In May 2012, the master and second officer received seven-month prison sentences as a result of the grounding, and MNZ said they have since been deported.

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