Early on the 5th October 2011 the MV Rena struck the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand.
That sums up the incident, bad navigational practice and what appears to be an attempt to take a quicker route into port.
Now we have the NZ response. What a debacle! With oil on the beaches and containers in the water we eventually get oil recovery teams looking at the situation on the 9th October 2011. Why 4 days? Obviously some idiots hoping we might just get a big wave to lift of the MV Rena and send her on her way.
In addition we have hundreds of local volunteers wanting to clean up the beaches but resort to officially restricting access to the beaches on the 13th October 2011, stating the clean up needs to be done professionally and controlled by the authorities. This is hardly a highly skilled or dangerous operation. Scoop up the congealed oil, bag it and throw the bags into skips or place them at collection points.
My advice to home owners is this, if you drop a bottle of oil on the kitchen floor, do not, I repeat, DO NOT inform the authorities or you will be inundated with kitchen closure and official clean up teams that will end up with your kitchen being closed for weeks.
Well let us proceed with matters in hand. The MV Rena official response team are preparing to remove oil, good you might say, but by now it is 10 days after the grounding event.
Fast forward, the 20th October 2011, still no further on, 100 tonnes of fuel removed only 1200 tonnes to go.
This is totally inadequate and once again highlights the ineptitude of NZ response to major accidents.
Pike River, NZ Police in charge, not a mining rescue expert among them, they should only have been conducting traffic.
Earthquake number 1 Christchurh, lucky time of day, no casualties. Local authority goes around puts stickers on buildings after carrying out what it appears is a very cursory inspection. Green sticker good and safe, red sticker, keep out. Local residents feel reassured and get back to business.
Earthquake number 2 Christchurch, buildings collapse and we have in NZ terms a large loss of life. Oh dear, green sticker building kill most of the people with the local authority saying the building owners should have get proper engineers reports. We forgot, you only employ buffoons at the local authority. And yes it is the residents own fault. We should have known better and it is true, after all look at the leaky home situation in NZ, once again the result of local authority inspectors signing off on poor workmanship.
It may be a great place to live, it may have some good scenery but it's definitely not the place to be in a disaster.
From recent experience the teams they put in charge only make matters a bigger disaster as they fumble around in special clothing, flashy jacket and hard hat with clipboard in hand. They are a joke.
Where else in the world do we close a major highway because of a two car traffic accident where there as been a fatality, not just for a few minutes to remove the vehicles and people, but for hours. Every where else I know of the first thing you do is get the people removed to safety then drag away the wrecks and get the traffic moving and I mean in minutes not half a day!