Long, sunny weekends usually mean one thing in the Bay of Plenty: a swim at the beach.
But the oil spilt from container ship Rena has put a stop to that, with Maritime New Zealand warning the public to stay out of the water.
Mount Maunganui Beach between base track and Tay Street reopened yesterday but the sea itself remains tantilisingly off limits.
"Public health warnings to avoid the oil-contaminated water remain in place,'' Maritime New Zealand said.
"Surf Lifesaving teams will not be on the beach over the long weekend and beach goers are reminded not to go swimming.
"There is still residual oil in the water. Warnings will remain in place until environmental testing confirms the water is safe.''
Fishing and shellfish also remained banned.