The director of Maritime New Zealand has apologised for not communicating earlier with Bay of Plenty people after the container ship Rena ran aground.
The vessel became wedged on the Astrolabe reef, 12 nautical miles from the Tauranga coast, on Wednesday 5 October and it's still there.
The first public meeting for residents was held at Papamoa five days after the grounding.
Maritime New Zealand director Catherine Taylor says she now realises that was too late, because "one of the risks you run early on is that you provide misinformation".
She told Radio New Zealand's Insight the agency should have been able to inform the community much more proactively by the Friday or the Saturday.
"I apologose for that," Ms Taylor says.I"t's just something we've learnt, and we will put that into our debrief when it takes place."