Rena Update 21 Dec 2011

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Rena disaster that struck Mount Maunganui on the 5 October 2011 continues to pose a threat on the successful delivery of three of our major Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) events this season - ERC's, Surf League and Oceans'12. 

SLSNZ is monitoring the level of risk on a daily basis and intends to continue to plan all three events to be held at Mount Maunganui beach and has put detailed contingency plans into place that will ensure the successful delivery of each of these events.

SLSNZ has conducted a robust consultation practice to determine the risk analysis process involving the key stakeholders that are directly involved with the Rena disaster: Maritime New Zealand, Braemar (the salvage company) and the Tauranga City Council.

The above consultative process has determined the level of risk for the Mount as currently low to medium however the environment of the Rena is extremely volatile. The primary risks to SLSNZ are containers and oil, and both if the ship breaks up as the environment at Mount Maunganui is high impact, ever changing and extremely unpredictable at this time of year. The observed direction of drift, weather patterns and wind direction and the experience of the recovery team, collectively combine to place the risk to SLSNZ of being able to safely stage the three ocean sport events at the lower to medium end of the scale.

SLSNZ understand that most clubs have already booked travel and accommodation for all three events. Therefore we have contingency plans in place to minimise disruption to teams and clubs as much as possible. We will hold all three events at Mount Maunganui in the first instance; although with prevailing factors we have designated contingency beaches not too far away. We believe that these contingency venues would be safe even if we were faced with the identified risks above. These contingency venues provide our organisers the confidence of successful event delivery given the volatile situation that Mount Maunganui beach is currently in.

The contingency plan has been discussed with a wide group of SLSNZ stakeholders to generate feedback and consultation around the process taken and the outcomes suggested. Key internal stakeholders consisting of event referees from each event, the surf official leadership group, local club delegates and selected team managers are supportive of the contingency plan that SLSNZ has in place.   

Currently, all beaches are open and the water quality is of standard. If you wish to monitor the water quality yourself, the Public Health Service has information on:

The environment is extremely volatile and SLSNZ continues to monitor the situation daily. 

If you have any questions surrounding this, please contact SLSNZ Event Manager Haley McMahon on 0274571012 or