Why won’t 3News follow up

Two night ago 3news breathlessly told us that the whole Rena disaster could have been averted if only the government had taken up a proposal to buy a ship that possibly, could have, might have been used to help off load the bunker oil.

Never-mind that work would still had to have been completed to reverse engineer piping and heating systems to do such a ting. Never mind also that 3News were fed the story by the Maritime Union who also didn’t declare their little involvement in the whole deal.

Why also has the media not been very, very careful in seeking statement from the Maritime Union, especially when they are registered as a promotor in both the general election and in the referendum, planning on spending and saying a great deal politically.

Back to the ship deal. All was not as it seems on the 3News item.

The pitch made at the time by the Maritime Union for the government to buy and fund a fully crewed 24/7 oil response vessel, had less to do with environmental safety than it did about protecting the jobs of the vessel’s union-member crew.

Nelson company Unimar leased the Marsol Pride from Dubai last January with the intention of contracting it out to the private oil, gas and mineral sector.

Unimar boss Calum MacLean said at the time that leasing the Marsol Pride was a big investment for the company, and “hopefully it will pay off.”

But when a contract supporting an offshore gold mining prospector off the West Coast finished, Unimar couldn’t find more work for the Marsol Pride, and the crew was laid off.

Writing in the Maritime Union’s quarterly magazine Maritimes in mid 2010 the union said “we’re trying to broker a deal for the crew … we are currently working on a plan to accommodate this.”

Letters to Cabinet Ministers followed, but the Oil Pollution Advisory Committee evaluated the union’s suggestion and decided against funding a dedicated emergency response vessel based in New Zealand.

The Government says there is no shortage of oil recovery support vessels operating in the private sector in New Zealand, including in Unimar’s existing fleet.

Coincidentally Unimar is one of a number of private sector companies with oil support vessels helping with the Rena clean up, right now making a lie of the claim that the Government missed out on specialised ships and are somehow to blame. Those specialised ships are right now in Tauranga assisting.

This seems to be nothing more than a political beat up and an arrangement between a private company and a union to get the government to pay them for a poor investment choice and at the same time protect unionised workers.

When you add in that the Maritime Union is registered to spend up to $300,000 promoting their causes in both the general election and the referendum then you see why it is very important that the media look into the vested interests behind stories they are handed on a platter.


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  • Outstanding post Cam; the questions you raise are highly relevant.

    Here’s a few more questions that need to be addressed; why have 11 crew members of the Rena been fast-tracked out of New Zealand whilst there is still the small matter of criminal liability to be determined. The Captain and 2nd Officer have been charged, but that does not mean that other members of the crew may not have some culpability. And what role has the Maritime Union played in these evacuations? Is the MU potentially guilty of conspiring to defeat the course of justice?

    • Anonymous

      Am I correct in that 6 crew have been left behind, in case there is any legal action that can or needs to be taken. Which will amount to piss all…

  • Anonymous

    Indeed a fantastic post…. Where there is shit there will be stench….

    It is amazing to get the feel of the unions, Greens & Labour stirring this up into something that it is not. Yes it is a major concern, but it isn’t to the extent that a good many are trying so hard to drum up.

    Being this close to the election, polls where they are etc, this is a perfect mishap to occur for the Pinko’s, so they will indeed feel the need to try and BS and capitalize as much as they can… Of which we have seen happen already….

  • Lofty

    Well I am trying to get someone in the Greens to answer a few basic questions, but of course not overly forthcoming.

    Whale, you get a mention on frogblog from the child MP re questions raised her by you and others.  All words and no substance but.

    • Quite so Lofty. According to Hughes, oil should have been being pumped from the Rena on Day One. I have just two questions for Mr Hughes; how, and to where?

  • frosty

    The sad thing about all of the MSM bullshit reporting is the effect it is having on our international reputation.  Our international tourism appeal is being damaged by the media, not the Rena incident.  Half of the world now think (as they did with Christchurch) that the whole country has been affected, and we are now a polluted blob of oil covered rubble on top of a flaming coal mine in the middle of the pacific – a paradise lost.  Now if they (MSM and opposition) were smart, they would treat the Rena incident as tragic, but treat the response and clean-up prospects with optimism and state the true extents of the oil spill, if only to help protect our image in the eyes of the world. 
    I reckon we are suffering more environmental damage from the MSM / Labour / Greens vile negative sensationalist and selfish games than 50 Rena’s would ever create.  Feel like starting the ‘Optimistic Common Sense’ party just to try and counter their BS and let the government get on with governing instead of having to put resource into engaging with these fools.

    • Anonymous

      And then there was Sainsbury…………………..