Oil group says Greenpeace's comment's alarmist

10:03 pm on 10 October 2011

The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand says linking a ship's grounding off Tauranga with oil drilling is alarmist.

Up to 30 tonnes of oil is thought to have leaked from the container ship Rena which ran aground on Astrolabe Reef last Wednesday.

Greenpeace has used the situation to highlight what it says are the risks of deep sea oil drilling.

The environmental group says a leak off the East Cape or the South Island from a deep water oil rig could see oil inundating the Bay of Plenty or Stewart Island.

However, the association's executive officer says the petroleum industry in New Zealand has never had a disaster at sea of any sort.

John Pfahlert says he believes Maritime New Zealand should be left alone to deal with the situation in Tauranga, instead of being hassled by groups wanting to make a political point.