The Bay of Plenty Times

spoke with several affected locals in Tauranga to see what they thought about yesterday's decision to leave the Rena wreck on the Astrolabe Reef.

Business Action Group founder Nevan Lancaster said he was saddened and disappointed but not surprised by this decision.

Read more: Rena decision released - wreck to stay


Mr Lancaster runs a catamaran and kayak business from Mount Maunganui's Pilot Bay and set up the group to create a class action.

He said he felt for iwi.

"It's just a shame. Whichever side won would have taken it to the Environment Court but this now puts all the hard work on the people with the least resources, local iwi."

Mr Lancaster said he was concerned the decision sent the wrong message.

"What we're telling the shipping industry now is, 'you're free to dump your ship and waste anywhere in New Zealand.

"It sets quite a nasty precedent."

Hibiscus Surf School co-owner Rebecca Manning, who was one of the first people to respond to the Rena's oil washing up on the coastline, said the disaster had affected her personally as well as damaging her business.

But she said she had decided to no longer invest herself in the decision about whether the Rena wreck stayed or was removed from Astrolabe Reef.

"I've moved on. We wanted to move forward in a positive way.

Read more: Call for Rena exclusion zone to stay

"I'm not extremely tied one way or another to the decision.

"It was such a difficult thing. It affected our business, of course, and it affected us personally and everyone at the Mount, and everyone that loves the ocean.

"It was a huge situation but we just felt like the best way to handle it was to move forward in a positive way."

The oil which leaked from the Rena wreck temporarily closed down her surf school in 2011.

Even when she had been cleared to return to the ocean, her students and instructors found oil on their wetsuits and surfboards.

Russ Hawkins, Mount Maunganui Underwater Club captain and owner of Fat Boy Charters, said the panel had made the right decision.

Mount Maunganui Underwater Club captain and owner of Fat Boy Charters. Photo/file
Mount Maunganui Underwater Club captain and owner of Fat Boy Charters. Photo/file

Mr Hawkins said removing the wreck would do more harm than good.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," he said.

"To me it's a very common sense decision.

"Had the decision gone the other way, the marine ecology system would have been destroyed. It would have helping nothing. It would have been a retrograde step."

Mr Hawkins had been in the marine industry for more than 40 years and was very familiar with Astrolabe Reef, he said.

"Someone will probably appeal. That's their right. I just hope most people will see common sense to leave it in place."