Rena film tickets on sale

A volunteer overwhelmed with the beach clean-up following the Rena grounding on Otaiti/Astrolabe. Photo: supplied.

The wait is nearly over for hundreds of Tauranga residents eager to see New Zealand’s largest pollution disaster story on the big screen.

The feature film ‘Taking Back our Beach’, celebrating our community’s response to the MV Rena grounding in 2011, will be released at United Cinema Bayfair, on October 5 – the 12th anniversary of the disaster. And bookings are open now.

Director Anton Steel and producer Rosalie Liddle Crawford have woven this story from 33 diverse interviewees, focusing on the ongoing impact of the tragedy on the Bay of Plenty community, and seeds of hope grown from it.

Through moments of tears and laughter, this 90-minute film offers closure to an event affecting more than 8000 volunteers and countless more in the wider region.

Taking Back Our Beach Trailer

Never-before-seem archival footage, amazing photos, re-enactments and computer-generated imagery bring our community’s stories to life, painting a picture of what interviewee and former Sun Media owner Brian Rogers says was “a great moment in human history”.

Seeing the film on the big screen gives a real sense of scale, while hearing the amazing 5.1 surround sound mix in one of NZ’s largest cinemas will transport audiences to one of the most significant events in Bay of Plenty’s history.

The film screened earlier this year as part of Asia Pacific’s largest documentary festival DocEdge, earning rave reviews from attendees. 

Debris from the grounded Rena on Mount Maunganui beach in 2011. 

“‘Taking Back Our Beach’ wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support from the wider community, who contributed in many ways through their personal stories, video footage or photographs, crowd-funding donations and even by knitting penguin sweaters,” says Anton.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Holland Beckett Law, Sun Media, Priority One, Western Bay of Plenty Wildlife and Bay Conservation Alliance, along with many individuals have been key supporters. The film makers are eager to give back, with the premiere a chance to invite and say “thank you” to all who contributed to its creation.

Film bookings are available now at United Cinemas Bayfair. Community groups of 30 or more are able to purchase tickets for $10, and use the opportunity as a fundraiser event. Education study packs are also being developed for school and community organisation use.

For more information about group bookings and a fundraiser opportunity, email:

To book tickets go to:

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