Up to 50 people are expected to take part in a marine oil spill exercise in Tauranga on Thursday.

The drill has been organised by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and is expected to help maintain and build oil spill capability amongst industry and first responders at the Port of Tauranga.

More than half of people taking part in the exercise will be regional council staff, plus Department of Conservation, Maritime New Zealand, Waikato Regional Council and iwi representatives.

The exercise will be held between 8am and 4pm at Butters Wharf and will involve many boats.