An independent review of the response by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) to the grounding of the Rena on Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga on 5 October 2011 will be conducted by former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Murdoch.
The review will examine the MNZ response to the Rena incident and establish the factors that contributed to, or limited, its effectiveness.
It will involve discussions with MNZ staff, and central and local government stakeholders. Although the review will not involve public submissions, Mr Murdoch will discuss the Rena response with all relevant central and government bodies, and with other key agencies that supported the MNZ response.
Mr Manch said that a review of such large scale incidents, carried out independently, was standard practice for emergency response organisations.
“As an organisation, business units within MNZ have done a lot of thinking about the response to the Rena grounding. Now it is timely to get an independent view,” he said. “There will be things that have been done very well, but inevitably there will be areas where things could have been done better and we can take lessons away from this incident.”
Mr Manch said the review’s focus was solely on MNZ’s response to the incident. He said the causes of the grounding had been established in the criminal investigation that led to the prosecution of the Master and Second Officer.
Ministry of Transport Chief Executive Martin Matthews said an independent review was an opportunity for the transport sector to learn from the Rena experience in order to prepare for similar events.
“If we can identify ways of doing things better, whether this means changing or retaining parts of the current response systems, this is good for the transport sector as a whole.”
It is expected the independent review will be completed in the first quarter of 2013. The review report will be made public.
Maritime NZ, October 5, 2012