Deeply concerned and saddened by the New Zealand accident involving container ship Rena, the Mediterranean Shipping Company is to donate $NZ1 million towards the clean up in the Bay of Plenty.

The goodwill gesture comes in the light of the environmental and economic damage such an incident would have on the Bay of Plenty region.

"We are deeply concerned about, and saddened by, the environmental damage, economic impact and disruption to lives caused by the accident involving the Rena," said Kevin Clarke, managing director of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (Australia and New Zealand).

"We acknowledge the distress and concerns of local residents, businesses and individuals, as well as those with cargo aboard the vessel," he said.

"Our own staff in Tauranga are part of the local community, and are as concerned about the grounding and its implications as everyone else in the Bay of Plenty - and throughout New Zealand."

In speaking of his concerns and the generous donation to accompany them, Mr Clarke emphasised that MSC did not own the Rena.

Furthermore, Mr Clarke said his company did not employ the ship's crew and was not responsible for the maintenance and operation of the vessel.

"From the outset we have been working behind the scenes with the authorities, including Maritime New Zealand and Ports of Tauranga," he said.

"We have put our resources at their disposal and have been in constant contact with the Rena's owners Costamare," Mr Clarkes added.

"At our meeting with the Minister of Transport yesterday (Monday, Oct 17) we discussed other ways in which we might support the cleaning operation.

"Today (Tuesday, Oct 18), we thus want to put at disposal of the relevant authorities NZ$1 million as a voluntary donation.

"We also would like to thank the professionals and the dedicated volunteers who are helping and spearheading the cleaning."


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