Tauranga Harbour oil spill update (3)
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 11:00 a.m.
Iwi representatives and Bay of Plenty Regional Council oil response staff have met today with iwi representatives at the site of the oil cleanup on the Maungatapu foreshore to plan the next stage of the work.
Regional On-Scene Commander Adrian Heays and the Regional Council’s University of Waikato Coastal Chair Dr Chris Battershill met with Carlton Bidois, Cane Taiapa, Des Heke and Aroha Ririnui to discuss how to clean up sensitive areas and involve iwi in the work to be done.
“We’re working collaboratively with iwi to clean up the oil and involving them in everything we do. They have good knowledge of the harbour and can advise us on its cultural values,” Mr Heays said.
“It’s also invaluable having the advice of our Coastal Chair available on site to understand how the environment will react to the oil and how best to remove it without further damage.”
He said iwi involvement in planning removal of oil at Motuopuhi Island today was essential as this area was highly valued by Maori.
Mr Heays said the Regional Council was very grateful to homeowners who had allowed the Maungatapu cleanup crew to use their properties to access the foreshore and set up a decontamination station.
Staff and contractors were doing well in removing the contaminated foreshore debris. No new oil had been found today. Oil at the Bridge Marina was well contained by booms and being sucked out by sucker truck.
A helicopter flight this morning did not spot any more oil in the water, and shoreline assessments are continuing.
Wildlife appear to have not been badly affected, although a second oiled shag found yesterday and had to be euthanized. Several other lightly oiled birds were spotted but not caught. They will be left to clean themselves as the small amount of oil is not likely to harm them.
The Mauao Wildlife Trust’s volunteers have checked penguins on Mauao and Motoriki (Leisure Island) at 6pm last night and found no signs of oiled birds. They will check penguin sites for the next two nights.
- Boaties are reminded not to clean their boats or gear with any aggressive chemicals as this may cause more contamination. Please contact your marina operator for advice.
- People should stay away from oil wash-up areas. Oil slicks or oiled vessels should be reported to the Regional Council’s Pollution Hotline, phone 0800 884 883, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mobil has set up an 0800 number for boat owners wanting advice – 0800 895 011. For insurance claims 0800 692524. Any oiled wildlife found should be reported to DOC 0800 362 468 (0800 DOC HOT).
- Media photos are available at www.boprc.govt.nz/taurangaoilspill. You can use these photos.