Contamination resulting from the grounding of the Rena highlights the need for Government action to improve the safety of coastal shipping," said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
Scientists today confirmed there are elevated levels of contaminants, including copper and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), close to the Rena wreck on Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef).
"This confirms that the Rena accident has had long-term negative effects on our environment and yet the Government is doing nothing to avoid similar accidents in the future," said Mr Hughes.
PAHs are cancer-causing and can enter the foodchain through fish.
"Given that fish aren't aware of the 2nm exclusion zone around the Astrolabe Reef, I would like the Government to confirm that they are testing Bay of Plenty fish for these contaminants.
"The Government must stop downplaying the risk of further accidents like the Rena and focus on how to make coastal shipping safer.
"The Green Party would implement higher standards for coastal shipping that support the use of local ships and crews that know New Zealand waters and hazards," said Mr Hughes.