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New oil spill on-scene commander appointed

Friday, 10 October 2014 10:00 a.m.

The Bay of Plenty has appointed a new regional oil spill on-scene commander to manage oil spills in its waters.

Regional Council Senior Pollution Prevention officer Adrian Heays has been appointed to the position after gaining qualifications from Maritime New Zealand. The role was previously managed by staff from Waikato Regional Council.

Regional Council Deputy Chief Executive Eddie Grogan said the Regional Commander’s role focuses on oil spill prevention, planning, preparedness and responding to regional level or Tier II oil spills.

“These are spills that are within the region's capability to respond, unlike the Rena which was a national level or Tier III spill. Tier II incidents happen more frequently, and can occur anywhere you have boats and ships with fuel or oil on board,” he said.

“Our goal is prevention by working with our key stakeholders such as the Port of Tauranga, refuelling sites, marinas, tank farms and also our key partners Maritime NZ, iwi, coast and estuary Care Groups, emergency services, large industries and local authorities.

“We also work through our Harbour Master’s team and the Tauranga Harbour programme to reduce marine pollution and promote boat and navigation safety. We already have the busiest port in the country, and we also want the safest and cleanest marine environment possible.” 

The On-Scene Commander also audits and approves oil spill plans for oil installations and transfer sites, as well as training oil spill responders and maintaining Maritime NZ’s oil spill response equipment which the Regional Council stores at the Port. 

Read the latest Regional Marine Oil Spill Contingency Plan.

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