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Published: 2011-10-10 00:00:00

A total of five Waikato Regional Council workers are now in the Bay of Plenty helping with a range of roles as Maritime New Zealand responds to the grounding of the Rena and the resulting oil spills.

A number of staff are helping with planning in the Tauranga-based incident command centre, while a number of other staff are assisting with beach clean-up and inspection work.

About another 20 regional staff are on standby to help if needed.

If oil was to get as far as the Waikato coastline, regional council staff will still work under the direction of Maritime New Zealand as it seeks to deal with the incident. Extra council staff could be called in as required.

At this stage, the council’s advice is that based on wind and current information, as well as the volume of oil spilled, there is no imminent threat to the Waikato coastline to the north of the grounding. However, regional council staff are monitoring the situation very closely in case circumstances change and will provide advice as necessary to Waikato people.

If oil does come north to the Waikato people are advised not to try to clean it up themselves but to ring the clean up line 0800 645 774.

Anyone spotting oiled wildlife should call 0800 333 771.

Waikato people should not collect and consume seafood (including shellfish and fin fish) from waters with visible oil contamination. Also, any seafood that has off or petrol like odours should be avoided.