With the Rena’s oil all but salvaged, many might breathe a huge sigh of relief. But the saga is by no way over and if anything, it poses some serious questions around the laws, or lack thereof, that exist in New Zealand to deal wth such incidences. To get a little clarity on the matter, we posed a few questions to AUT’s senior lecturer in law, Vernon Rive.


As individuals and groups scramble to contain the oil spill from stranded vessel Rena, which last week struck the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga, others are questioning methods being used to help clean up the oil. According to Maritime New Zealand’s latest update on the situation, there is a significant amount of oil leaking from the vessel and dispersants are being tested on the fresh oil leaking from the ship. One dispersant tested, called Corexit 9500, came under criticism for its toxicity when it was used in the BP Deepwater Horizon spill. Now scientists here dishing out some sombre dispersant advice.