22 Jun 2010

US oil spill can be cleaned up, say NZ experts

3:43 pm on 22 June 2010

Two New Zealanders who have been helping clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico believe it can be successfully cleared.

Dayne Maxwell and Scott Read from Maritime New Zealand have been in the United States since May, as part of an international team responding to the disaster, involved mainly in cleaning up oil from shorelines.

Oil has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico since the 20 April explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers.

Mr Read says the scale of the response is the largest he has ever seen, and while it is a long term plan, he is confident the environment will eventually recover.

He says New Zealand's contingency plan matches the methods being used to clean up the oil in the United States, and the visit has reassured him this country is prepared to deal with a spill of a similar scale.

Three other Maritime New Zealand staff have recently gone over to join the response team.