Labour has taken a shot at the Government over taxpayers footing the bill of than $50 million so far for the Rena clean-up, as the next stage of the vessel salvage gets underway.
Taxpayers will be left to pick up the multimillion-dollar tab for the disaster created when the vessel grounded on Astrolabe Reef on the Bay of Plenty Coast last year, Labour says.
The party uncovered the cost of the clean-up through an Official Information request of Maritime New Zealand documents.
The Government should have incorporated international conventions on liability for damage into New Zealand law to reduce the cost to taxpayers, Labour's environment spokesman Grant Robertson said.
"The Government should pick this up or get off its backside and introduce its own legislation. Otherwise, if another accident happens, taxpayers will be forking out again. It is simply not good enough," said Mr Robertson.
More work began on the Rena wreck this week, with parts of the bow being cut up and removed.
- APNZBy Abby Gillies Email Abby