Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for responding to oil spills in the coastal marine area, which extends 12 nautical miles out to sea from the Bay of Plenty coastline.
We respond when the spill exceeds the clean-up capability of the person responsible for spilling the oil, or where the person responsible for spilling the oil cannot be identified. In these situations, the Regional On Scene Commander assumes responsibility for the control and management of the oil spill clean-up operation.
Under the Maritime Transport Act 1994, all regional councils must have a regional oil spill contingency plan and ensure it is regularly tested. Regional Councils are also required to maintain a trained response team, including wildlife response specialists.
In the Tauranga Harbour area we also proactively engage with industry to develop specific plans to protect the harbour should a spill occur. This includes providing best practice advice and auditing high risk and large-scale activities that have a significant pollution risk for the harbour.