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Oil washes ashore in New Zealand -

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ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Oil leaking from a stricken container ship has begun washing ashore on New
Zealand's east coast.

Sticky black globules are littering the sand of a popular beach in the Bay of Plenty.

Salvage experts are now racing to secure the ship and offload the remaining oil.

New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz reports from Tauranga.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ, REPORTER: It was beach-combing with a difference.

VOX POP: Oh, it's exactly like tar off the road. It's horrible stuff.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: Authorities say there's no point starting the official clean-up until after
high tide tomorrow. Locals couldn't wait.

VOX POP II: We rely on tourism so hugely and so, yeah, there'll be some people that are really kind
of freaking out at the moment I think.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: The Defence Force has been called in and Australians are among the
international team trying to stop an environmental disaster in an area rich in bird and marine
life.

ROB SERVICE, MARITIME NEW ZEALAND: I think it's fair to say it's inevitable that there will be more
oil coming ashore. How much, we just don't know.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: An operation to pump the 1,700 tonnes of fuel from the Rena to a nearby bulker
barge was suspended after barely getting going.

BRUCE ANDERSON, SALVAGE UNIT MANAGER: The bow thrusters overheated and so they - once again they
detached and went and have stood off.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: It's not just residents who want answers about this looming disaster. Two
investigations are underway.

The Rena was detained in Fremantle port in July for poor maintenance and problems with securing
cargo. The Maritime Union here says problems with the ship were also detected in a New Zealand port
in September.

Maritime New Zealand officials say at this stage there are no signs that the Rena is about to break
up. But they say as with every other aspect of this operation, there are no guarantees.

Wildlife rescuers say they're ready to treat hundreds of oily birds if necessary. So far it's been
only a handful. This pied shag, well on the road to the recovery.

BRETT GARTRELL, WILDLIFE CENTRE DIRECTOR: We didn't know he was a pied shag because he was black
all over. So 100 per cent oiling, and the oil was really heavy fuel, so it's thick tarry material.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: But with more oil headed for shore, this bird won't be released anytime soon.

Dominique Schwartz, Lateline.