There was swamp kauri dug from the land where the fuel pipeline ruptured says the Government agency charged with keeping track of extraction of the native timber - after it had said for two days that there had not been.

The NZ Herald contacted MPI on Monday to ask about a swamp kauri link to the "affected area".

The query came after a source said the pipeline had been damaged by a digger and it was believed to be connected to the removal of swamp kauri.

Photographs obtained by the Herald confirmed the damage to the pipeline and showed a 20-metre kauri log close to where the pipeline was damaged.

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MPI responded quickly on Monday saying there was no link to swamp kauri.

The site where the pipeline repairs are taking place at Ruakaka. Photo / Michael Cunningham
The site where the pipeline repairs are taking place at Ruakaka. Photo / Michael Cunningham

"MPI officials already knew there weren't any applications for milling statements from the area.

"A follow-up check this morning confirmed that no applications for milling statements from the area had been made."

A milling statement is required for anyone processing swamp kauri. The statement includes details showing where the kauri was removed from.

A kauri log dug up near the site of the fuel pipeline rupture. Photo / Supplied
A kauri log dug up near the site of the fuel pipeline rupture. Photo / Supplied

However, eyewitness reports of signs of digging for swamp kauri, and further eyewitness recollections of diggers looking for kauri on the land, prompted fresh questions.

MPI now says it has checked "older files" and had found kauri was removed from the land where the pipeline ruptured.

"MPI files show milling statements for kauri recovered from the property where a break in the NZRC-Auckland pipeline has been found."

 A digger pulling swamp kauri from the ground at another site in Northland. Photo / Supplied
A digger pulling swamp kauri from the ground at another site in Northland. Photo / Supplied

However, the MPI spokesman said "the kauri was removed before March 2011 and came from a site many hundreds of metres and a number of paddocks away from the pipeline".

He said there were no records of more recent extractions.

Refining NZ has said that it believed the damage to the pipeline happened after 2014, which was the last time an inspection of the pipeline was carried out.

Swamp kauri logs are loaded on a truck at another site. Photo / Supplied
Swamp kauri logs are loaded on a truck at another site. Photo / Supplied
A swamp kauri stockpile elsewhere at Ruakaka in 2014. Photo / File
A swamp kauri stockpile elsewhere at Ruakaka in 2014. Photo / File
A pair of giant swamp kauri stumps, also known as
A pair of giant swamp kauri stumps, also known as "black gold", are trucked south on SH1 near Moerewa in 2015. Stumps may be exported legally but not logs. Photo / Peter De Graaf