Maritime New Zealand says two containers from the bow section of the wrecked Rena have been pushed into the water to be picked up by another crane barge.
The ship ran aground on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga on 5 October last year and finally split in two on 7 January. About three-quarters of the stern has slipped below the water.[image:4397:full]
Progress on Thursday means 12 containers have now been taken from the bow section. About 400 containers have yet to be removed.
The alternative container removal method is being used because the crane barge removing boxes from the Rena can't get close enough to the bow section that is firmly wedged on the reef.
Maritime New Zealand says a container has also been unloaded by hand with a helicopter taking the cargo to land.
The authority says some plywood sheeting has washed ashore on Waihi Beach and some oil has been spotted on Rabbit Island.
A boom that had been placed at Maketu Estuary to protect the area is to be removed. Another at the entrance of the estuary will remain in place.