A million dollar gesture that fails on every level

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Labour Leader Phil Goff says like many Kiwis he was angry when he heard the Mediterranean Shipping Company denying liability for the clean up effort following the grounding of the Rena.A million dollar gesture that fails on every level
Labour Leader Phil Goff says like many Kiwis he was angry when he heard the Mediterranean Shipping Company denying liability for the clean up effort following the grounding of the Rena.

“The people on the beaches picking up the black oily mess created by the grounding of the Rena have been amazing. Sadly, the Government and MSC have let them down,” Phil Goff said.

“Volunteers have put in an enormous effort to clean up the beaches. People have taken time off work. They have paid for clean up materials like sphagnum moss out of their own pocket with no guarantee they will ever be reimbursed.

“If the National Government had passed into law the Bunker Oil Convention, which makes it easier to claim costs from those responsible for oil spills, as Australia and Canada did in 2009, New Zealand would not be relying on MSC to voluntarily step up to the plate and help.

“The National Government’s failure to pass the required law meant it is going cap in hand begging MSC to help. Legislation would have established clear liability on the companies responsible to pay a much more realistic level of compensation.

“The National Government should release the Crown Law Office opinion about where liability lies and tell New Zealanders how the environmental disaster will be paid for.

“Kiwis and those in Tauranga whose incomes have been affected need to know what is happening, and what the Government is doing about pursuing the company.

“National put out the begging bowl and got a pittance. Now it needs to say what other steps it’s taking to get the money needed for the clean-up,” Phil Goff said.

Authorised by Hon Phil Goff MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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