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Published: 2011-10-07 00:00:00

More than 20 Waikato Regional Council staff are ready to respond to any Maritime New Zealand request to help out with oil spill containment and clean-up operations following the grounding of the Rena off the Bay of Plenty coast.

If deployed, the council staff will work under the direction of Maritime New Zealand on duties such as beach inspections and clean-ups, and deploying oil absorbing booms or protective booms to stop oil getting to sensitive sites or harbours.

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.

If oil was to get as far as the Waikato coastline, 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.

Meanwhile, a senior council emergency management staff member is continuing to assist Maritime New Zealand with its management of the incident.