Rena Wreck National's Fault

New Zealanders continue to pay dearly for National's past and continuing incompetence. The $11.5 billion dollar leaky building debacle is directly related to the deregulation of the building industry in 1991 and the Pike River mine tragedy can be blamed on the repealing of the Coal Mining Act in 1993. National governments arrogantly ignore good advice and continue to have the blind belief that less regulation is good and reducing numbers of civil servants, and therefore trusting business to self regulate, is fine. History continues to prove them wrong and yet I don't see evidence of lessons learned, even in their appalling Energy Strategy released recently we find the following statement: 

"The Government encourages development and use of voluntary industry standards to rate building energy performance."

With the Rena disaster both the causes of the accident and the delay in dealing effectively with it can be laid firmly at the feet of the National Party. Again in the 1990s the National Government created an "open coast" policy that allowed unacceptable practices to become prevalent within our waters. In the case of the Rena it had a history of faults and concerns and the last time there was any check to ensure these had been rectified was in the Port of Bluff and all that was required was a verbal assurance that all was well. 

In reality the likelihood of a major marine accident is probably greater in New Zealand than a terrorist attack and yet the checks and monitoring of coastal and international shipping in our waters have been downgraded substantially. If greater diligence and regulation existed then this terrible tragedy would not have occurred. Voting for a National government is a vote for hands off, no responsibility governance and the tax payer becoming culpable for any resulting disaster.


Anonymous said…
The Tory scum need to pay for this atrocity. The NACT snakes should have their throats slit.
robertguyton said…
They were told, and recognised the need for a special rapid-response ship to deal with such eventualities as this, but didn't action it, didn't purchase one, didn't feel moved to provide protection for the marine environment by purchasing such a purpose designed ship. I guess they thought they'd take a gamble. I wonder where that attitude might have come from?
Now we all pay for their neglect.
CaptainG said…
You have to be joking. Some of these comments are so far out there I have to be concerned about this countries future. The downgrading of MNZ's capabilities happened under Director of Marine Kilvington and then Cath Taylor. Their Marine qualified staff slowly left because they were not happy with the slow stripping of MNZ's capability. Have a look at how many Marine qualified staff are left. One. The others are old staff brought back from Australia to help. Helen Clark created this situation. I am involved inn the industry and these are just some of the frightening facts.
bsprout said…
CaptainG, you make a useful point. I must admit I often hold National responsible for many of the crises we have had to manage recently because of their propensity for deregulation and the cutting of funding to state services used to monitor compliance. Although National did much of this, Labour did little to reverse these decisions.

I am no expert on the history of Maritime New Zealand but the level of funding they now receive is pathetic for the level of responsibility they have. $36 million to the America's cup Challenge and only $3.7 million to protect our waters?
bsprout said…
Sorry, make that $5.7 million, still a pittance though.

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