Both men had been charged in October under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act with "operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk," each charge carries a maximum penalty of a prison sentence of 12 months or a $10,000 dollar fine.
In November both men were given an additional charge under the Resource Management Act this charge is directed to the "discharge of harmful substances from ships or offshore installations." The charge has a maximum penalty of a $300,000 dollar fine, or two years' in prison, and $10,000 dollar fine for each day the offence continues.
In December, additional charges were added under the Crimes Act, three charges of "willfully attempting to pervert the course of justice." Each of these charges carries a maximum of seven years' imprisonment.
The Captain of the Rena faces four charges under the Crimes Act, the Second Officer faces only three charges under the Crimes Act.
Rena’s Captain pled guilty to all six charges filed against him in Tauranga District Court today. While her Second Officer pled guilty to four of the five charges against him under the Maritime Safety and Crimes Act, but made no plea on a charge under the Resource Management Act (RMA).
A hearing will be held in May to hear any legal arguments regarding the RMA charge.
The Captain and the Second will be sentenced in the Tauranga District Court on 25 May. The court has suppressed the identity of both men until that time.