Maritime New Zealand charged the owner of the cargo vessel Rena, following the ship's Oct. 5 grounding on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga.
Greece-based Daina Shipping Co was charged under section 338 (1B) and 15(B) of the Resource Management Act 1991, which relates to the "discharge of harmful substances from ships" in the coastal marine area, according to a press release from the agency.
The charge carries a maximum fine of $600,000 and $10,000 for every day the offending continues.
The prosecution follows the Feb. 29 guilty pleas by the Master and Second Officer of Rena to charges laid by MNZ last year. Details of the charges are available here.
The two men are scheduled to be sentenced in the Tauranga District Court on May 25.
No further charges will be laid by MNZ in relation to the grounding.
The newly charged owners are reported to be pondering their options.