A stricken ship anchored off Tauranga is set for a longer stay after poor weather delayed a divers' inspection.

Divers had planned to inspect the rudder and propeller of the Singaporean-registered vessel, Funing-9690913 today after the log carrier's engine failed at the entrance to Port of Tauranga about 12.30am yesterday.

Unable to steer after losing power, the ship was pushed by wind and tides to the edge of the channel at the base of Mauao and snagged a marker buoy. Two investigations have been launched.

Mauao walkers could see the ship anchored at sunrise on Monday. Photo / Trent Sunderland
Mauao walkers could see the ship anchored at sunrise on Monday. Photo / Trent Sunderland

Maritime New Zealand principal adviser communication Vincent Cholewa said a decision on where and how the ship was repaired was not possible until divers were able to get underwater and inspect the damage.

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The inspection may not go ahead until later this week.

"The weather is too rough today, it wouldn't be safe for the divers," Cholewa said.

"The weather forecast for tomorrow is marginal, they may be able to, but Thursday, Friday and Saturday the forecast is good and we're certainly expecting the hull, the rudder and propeller will be inspected by then."

He said the inspection would only take "a few hours" but the next move for the ship would not be known until then.

"If the vessel is safe to sail, it would normally be allowed to continue on its voyage to China soon after [the inspection]. If there is damage, it obviously depends on the extent of the damage and whether it needs to be repaired straight away or if it can be repaired later. A whole bunch of decisions will have to be made around what the damage was and when and where repairs would be carried out.

"There is no evidence of any damage to the hull, no pollution of any kind - oil or otherwise.

"The ship has two hulls so there are two layers and compartments inside those layers. The ship's crew can inspect those compartments and there has been no leakage of water from outside or oil or anything else from inside, which suggests very strongly there is no damage to the hull."

Shipping operations at the port were suspended and the Mauao base track was closed as a precaution while the ship was urgently towed to deeper water yesterday, but Cholewa said the ship was now anchored in an area where it was causing no disruption to port operations.

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"Where it's anchored now is actually a safe anchorage used by the port. When, for whatever reason a vessel can't come in, there are a bunch of anchorages outside the port where ships can anchor and wait safely.

"It's one of those and has no impact at all on the trade of the port, others can come in and out as required."