NSW Ports Minister Duncan Gay has announced NSW will send experts to New Zealand to help with the oil spill clean-up and recovery effort of container ship Rena, which ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef near Tauranga Harbour on Wednesday.
Heavy fuel oil has created a slick in the Bay of Plenty, off the North Island, which has started to impact on local wildlife.
Mr Gay said NSW had been asked to assist in the response, coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, by providing personnel and equipment as needed.
“Staff who will assist in the effort, from NSW Maritime and Sydney Ports Corporation, specialise in oil spill response efforts and have on site experience in similar clean-up operations,” Mr Gay said.
“Three staff from Sydney Ports Corporation will leave for New Zealand tomorrow, with additional personnel from NSW Maritime and other agencies provided over coming weeks on a rotational program.
“A large oil skimmer will also be sent from NSW.”
Mr Gay said the request for specialist personnel and equipment assistance was consistent with bilateral arrangements between Australia and New Zealand.
NSW Maritime is responsible for ensuring NSW has an adequate marine oil spill response capability in NSW waters.
Port emergency response plans and equipment deployments are exercised regularly to ensure an appropriate level of preparedness and response is maintained.