Two Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) technical experts have flown to the United States at the invitation of one of the oil spill response companies assisting with the clean-up of the Gulf of Mexico spill.

An oil spill equipment technician and a response planning officer from MNZ's Marine Pollution Response Service (MPRS) have been seconded to support the Deepwater Horizon spill response.

They will work with Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSR), a company contracted to help the US Government in its management of the spill.

MPRS group manager Nick Quinn said the pair would support the spill response effort, while observing and reporting back on lessons that could benefit New Zealand planning.

"The deployment is a great opportunity to gain invaluable experience in working in a large-scale spill response," he said.

One of the men was working in a command centre, assisting with logistics, while the second was working with a shoreline assessment team out in the field.

"The experience these two gain and bring back to New Zealand will benefit our own preparedness and response system," Mr Quinn said.

"While we are asked quite regularly to supply personnel to assist in international spills, this is the largest we have been involved with.

"The benefits of MNZ personnel being involved with a spill response of this magnitude are immense."

- NZPA