Hong Kong-Flagged Ship Causes Whangarei Harbour Spill

A Hong Kong-registered general cargo ship Ning Po, berthed at Northport, has officially been identified as the source of yesterday’s oil leak in the New Zealand’s Whangarei Harbour.

The vessel has been detained by Maritime New Zealand and cannot leave New Zealand until her hull and ballast tanks have been cleaned and passed inspection.

The authorities said that this work will continue today and resume tomorrow, if necessary, adding that “work on the hull of the Ning Po could take up to another 12 hours to complete.”

The ship’s owners have flown a technical expert out to Whangarei from Singapore to find out how the leak happened and to put processes in place on the ship, to prevent the incident from reoccurring.

After the vessel passes inspection, it will depart Northport for Auckland where permanent repairs will be made.

A joint inspection this morning revealed oil traces on the shoreline, and the clean-up teams continued the work on the wharf at Northport and the hulls of the ships that were berthed at the time of the incident.

The New Zealand’s Northport staff have joined clean-up teams from Northland Regional Council, Refining NZ and local iwi Patuharakeke to complete the recovery exercise.

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