A large crane barge has arrived in Tauranga from Singapore to remove the four-storey accommodation block from the grounded container ship Rena.
The container ship ran aground on Astrolabe Reef off the Tauranga coast on 5 October 2011.
An anchor-handling tug is expected to arrive in the middle of this month, and the operation to remove the accommodation block is scheduled to start in December.
Frank Leckey of salvage company Resolve says the crane barge will be carrying 250 tonne sections of the wreck which will increase the speed of the operation.
The Rena weighed about 47,000 tonnes when it ran aground.
He says Resolve has been working on the Rena for about 400 days, although the crew have been unable to work for half that time because of the weather conditions.