It is time Maritime New Zealand listened to the growing opposition to any future use of Corexit in the Bay.

More than 150 people gathered on the Mount main beach at the weekend to protest against a stockpile of the chemical in the region.

Corexit is an oil dispersant and was used in the Rena clean up and is currently stockpiled in drums at the Port of Tauranga.

An alarming 60 Minutes report on the issue, aired on New Zealand television, claimed there had been serious illness and death in America after seven million litres of both Corexit products were used in the Gulf of Mexico.


Australia's maritime authority is getting rid of its stockpiles. Other countries, such as the UK and Sweden, don't use it either.

The protest was held a day after the regional council asked Maritime New Zealand to remove its drums of Corexit from a Bay of Plenty Regional Council storage shed at Mount Maunganui.

Regional council chairman John Cronin said the council was storing 3200 litres of Corexit, on behalf of Maritime NZ, at a shed which it leased from the Port of Tauranga.

This was after Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby announced that he thought Corexit should be banned, saying it will damage this country's reputation. However, New Zealand maritime officials have to date maintained that they have not received any scientific or medical data that confirms the statements made in the television report. Tauranga MP Simon Bridges has backed this stance.

As has been noted before, not having any data to say it is dangerous is not the same as saying it is safe.

Maritime New Zealand should listen to public opinion and review its stance on Corexit as other countries have already done.