The Bay of Plenty Council have announced that the Rena wreckage will stay on the Astrolabe Reef.
The 38,000 tonne vessel ran aground on the reef on 5 October 2011 and eventually broke up. It now lies on the sea floor.
The vessel had over 1300 containers on board and split about 350,000 litres of oil into the bay, making it one of the country’s worst maritime disasters.
The ship broke up in various storms and split in two. Salvors were able, over time, to remove large parts of the ship’s main cabin and bridge structure, but two large sections of the bow and the stern sank.
The decision has been met with mixed responses. Local iwi are concerned that the wreckage will still cause environmental issues. However, local divers are excited by the decision as the site could become one of New Zealand’s best dive sites.
Those objecting to the decision have three weeks to lodge appeals with the Environment Court.