August 2018 Māori Law Review
Ngāi Te Hapu Inc v Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Environment Court  NZEnvC 073
17 May 2017
Interim decision granting consent for the abandonment of the MV Rena and permitting any future discharge of contaminants from the vessel subject to conditions of consent. Parties directed to consult on the appropriate conditions of consent.
Overview and Result
|Interim decision - MV Rena - consent to abandon and discharge contaminants - granted with conditions|
|Date||17 May 2017|
|Case||Ngāi Te Hapu Inc v Bay of Plenty Regional Council (28 KB PDF)|
|Citation|| NZEnvC 073|
|Court||Environment Court - Te Kōti Taiao o Aotearoa|
|Judge(s)||Judges JA Smith and CE Fox and Commissioners SK Prime and ACE Leijnen|
|Earlier/later decisions||Ngai Te Hapu Inc v Bay of Plenty Regional Council  NZCA 202; Ngai Te Hapu Inc v Bay of Plenty Regional Council  NZCA 291; Ngai Te Hapu Incorporated and Nga Potiki a Tamapahore Trust v Bay of Plenty Regional Council  NZHC 936; Ngai Te Hapu Inc v Bay of Plenty Regional Council  NZHC 643; Ngai Te Hapu Inc v Bay of Plenty Regional Council  NZHC 1142; Ngā Potiki a Tamapahore Trust v Bay of Plenty Regional Council  NZEnvC 50; Ngai Te Hapu Inc v Bay of Plenty Regional Council  NZHC 1493.|
|Legislation cited||Confiscated Lands Act 1867; Fisheries (Kaimoana Customary Fishing) Regulations 1998 r 2; Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011; Maritime Transport Act 1994 s 2(1), s 86; Ngāti Awa Claims Settlement Act 2005; Resource Management (Marine Pollution) Regulations 1998; Resource Management Act 1991 ss 2, 4A, 4B, 5, 6, 6(e), 7, 7(a), 8, 9, 15(1), 15(1)(b), 15A, 15A(1), 15A(2), 15B, 87B(1)(a), 104, 104(1), 104(1)(b), 104(1)(c), 104(3), 104(4), 108, 108(10)(a), 120, 274, 274(1)(b) and (d), 274(4), (4A), and (4B), 290A, 330, Pt 2; Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992.|
|Overview and result||Interim decision concerning consent for the abandonment of the MV Rena and to permit any future discharge of contaminants from the vessel.|
The MV Rena is a 235m container vessel that ran aground on Astrolabe / Ōtāiti reef on 11 October 2011. The intention was to transfer the vessel to the Applicant (Astrolabe Community Trust) in order for it to ensure the conditions of consent are adhered to. The decision was subject to an extensive inquiry for four weeks and ultimately the reason the consents were granted was because it was shown that further salvage efforts would cause more damage to the reef and also place considerable risk to the safety of the salvors.
Held, applications granted subject to conditions.
The Court considered that the consent would achieve the purpose of the Act, including recognising and providing for the relationship of Māori with the reef, through the imposition of appropriate conditions of consent.
The Resource Consent conditions provide for:
The parties were directed to consult on the proposed conditions. Following consultation the Court would consider the position and either make further directions or conclude the final consent and conditions. Four subsequent decisions were issued, with the final fifth decision being made on 15 December 2017, which determined the outstanding conditions and issued the final consents with finalised conditions.