A team of Te Arawa are mobilising in an effort to fight a three kilometre slick of oil expected to reach the coastline of the small Bay of Plenty settlement of Maketu over the next 24 hours.
"Maketu is a very special place to our Te Arawa people because it is where our waka landed," said Elaine Tapsell (Ngati Whakaue ki Maketu), who is coordinating the tangata whenua response in Maketu.
"Today we trained a number of volunteers for the clean-up, but we still need more help so we are calling on as many of our people from mai Maketu ki Tongariro to volunteer their time where they can.
"We'll be focusing on the area between the Kaituna cut and around Maketu.
"A lot of our people are angry that it has gotten to this stage but our focus right now needs to be on exercising our kaitiakitanga, on cleaning up and ensuring there is no damage, or as less damage as possible, to the areas where our pipi, kina and crayfish are."