Oil Pollution Fund

When finger pointing backfires

One of the problems with finger pointing is that there are three fingers pointing right back at you, your own.

The Greens especially but also Labour, in?particular?Trevor Mallard have been pointing fingers trying to lay the blame for the MV Rena on the door step of the government. They have been very vocal about the oil spill, pretending to be experts at marine salvage and in the case of Phil Goff pretending to?know?how to use a shovel.

Eventually the facts come out though. So, I wonder how they are going to spin this little piece of news.

A decade ago, the Oil Pollution Fund contained about $12 million but now totals only $4m after a decision was made by then transport minister Mark Gosche to draw the account down. The purpose of the fund is to have sufficient cash rapidly available in case of an oil spill and all ships over 24m long or weighing more than 100 tonnes must contribute. What they pay is decided by the gross tonnage of the ship and not their “threat” level ? an issue currently subject to review.

Labour has gone on about how shameful it is that the taxpayers will be paying for the spill. I wonder what their alternative is, not clean it up and say we shouldn’t have to pay. Or do what?the?government is doing, cleaning it up and then using the full forces and resources of the state to pursue and hold to account those responsible.

Meanwhile if Labour could explain the decision they made to draw the account down.

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