15 Oct 2011

Less oil on Bay of Plenty beaches on Saturday

10:20 pm on 15 October 2011

Maritime New Zealand says there was considerably less oil on Bay of Plenty beaches on Saturday.

Oil from the stricken Rena has been washed up in large amounts in recent days, particularly around Papamoa.

Some of the up to 35 tonnes of oil remains in the ocean between Mount Maunganui and Maketu.

Maritime New Zealand's director Catherine Taylor says much of it will probably wash up around the Papamoa area.

She says beach closures will remain in place until at least the end of the weekend.

Ms Taylor says there is now noticeably less oil on the beaches and the oil on the beaches will be tested to determine how far the oil has gone into the sand.

She says as a precaution they have also set up a forward command centre in Whakatane.