Rena 'riddled with problems'
The Maritime Union claims the Rena was riddled with problems, including issues with its charts, which could explain how it ended up getting stuck on a Tauranga reef.
The union released a statement today, claiming Maritime New Zealand found multiple deficiencies with the cargo vessel when it carried out an inspection on the ship in Bluff on September 28.
Prime Minister John Key is calling for answers on how the Liberian-flagged 235m vessel became stuck on the reef in the early hours of October 5.
The Maritime Union says it has information that the Rena had many deficiencies, including problems with its charts, "a possible clue as to how the vessel may have ended up running into the Astrolabe Reef at top speed".
It wants MNZ to release all of its reports on the ship and confirm whether it was aware of problems with the ship, including charts.
If MNZ was aware of the problems then it needed to explain why the Rena was allowed to sail on the New Zealand coast, the union's general secretary Joe Fleetwood said.
A spokesperson for MNZ said they would not release the most recent inspection report on Rena because it formed part of the ongoing investigation.
Fleetwood said the ship's grounding was a major shipping hazard, "with threats from oil and chemical spillage, the safe evacuation of crew and the possibility the vessel will break up".
"As a union our first concern is that the crew are safe and well and no one is endangered in the salvage operation. But we also want to quickly get answers that throw some light on why we are in this situation in the first place."
Fleetwood said that the union had a "source" who confirmed the Rena had multiple deficiencies. They included issues with maintenance and equipment, propulsion main engine, covers and doors, lighting, stowage of lifeboats, emergency fire pump and the auxiliary engine.
Fleetwood said many of these deficiencies were similar to problems reported by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority during inspections of the Rena in Australia.