The clean-up of thousands of tiny plastic beads on Bay of Plenty beaches is expected to continue for up to a week.
The white beads washed ashore from a container in the sunken rear section of the Rena after last weekend's severe weather.
Groups of clean-up crews are working 24 hours a day on a large stretch of coastline.
Spokesman for the ship's owners and insurers, Hugo Shanahan, says salvors came close to removing the beads from the ship.
"They located them, they were working on a plan to be able to recover them.
"That's when the weather came and interrupted these plans, and now we're dealing with recovering beads from beaches. It's pretty frustrating and disappointing, really."