People are being warned not to tamper with the debris from a sunken boat off Whakatane.
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has issued a preservation and protection order to stop people interfering with the wreckage of the charter boat PeeJay V, which sank after catching fire on Monday.
The 60 passengers and crew on board had to jump into the water to escape the flames; all were safely rescued.
The commission expects debris to start washing up on local beaches soon and said it needed to be left untouched, as it might help establish what caused the fire.
It has asked anyone who finds debris from the wreck to contact the Bay of Plenty harbourmaster.