New charges have been laid against the captain and navigational watch officer in relation to the Rena grounding.

Both men, who have name suppression, appeared in Tauranga District Court today and faced a new charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The charges were laid under the Crimes Act and could see the men facing jail time.

Both were remanded at large to reappear in Tauranga District Court on February 29.


The men were already facing one charge each under the Resource Management Act (RMA) relating to the discharge of harmful substances from the ship.

They had also been earlier charged by Maritime New Zealand under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk.

Court documents revealed the captain had been charged with being the master of a ship from which harmful substances and/or contaminants were discharged into a coastal marine area.

The second officer was charged with being responsible for the watch of a ship from which the same offence occurred.

The RMA charge carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment or a fine up to $300,000.