Refining New Zealand boss Sjoerd Post has apologised to travellers whose "dream holidays" were hit by the pipeline rupture, still leading to flight disruptions.
The company owns and operates the pipeline which broke nearly two weeks ago and while nearly all flights are back on schedule, two international flights will be cancelled tomorrow and some other long-haul flights will divert to overseas airports in Australia and the Pacific to top up on fuel.
Post told a briefing today that while he was pleased the pipeline had been repaired, he was sorry for the disruption.
"We remain sorry that we were the cause of so much distress over the last two weeks including stranded passengers, less traffic through Auckland Airport, tourists who couldn't go on their dream holiday. We are extremely sorry," he said.
The 168km pipeline from Marsden Point to Wiri appeared to have been damaged by a digger and ruptured, cutting all supplies of aviation fuel to Auckland Airport and forcing airlines to ration fuel.
This led to the cancellation or disruption of more than 150 flights. Airlines have been forced to make expensive fuel stops and this has led to passengers missing connections.
Post said he looked forward to a "post implementation review" to learn what the country and Refining NZ - owned largely by fuel companies Z Energy, Mobil and BP - could do better.
Northland Regional Council was investigating who was responsible for the scrape which led the pipeline to fail, spilling aviation fuel into a swamp. He said it was up to the council to look for the culprit, rather than the refinery becoming a "vigilante".
"If someone breaks into your house is your first reaction to try and find out who the thief is? The answer to this is 'no' because we live in a country of law and order. It is up to the authorities to investigate and find out who this was and under which laws we can hold them to account."
Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins gave the response to the crisis by the fuel industry, aviation sector and authorities a 9.5 out of 10 and did not think the county's reputation had been harmed.
"Not at all. I've travelled overseas and had many instances where my travel plans have been disrupted. Bad things happen - it's how you handle them that makes the difference," she said.
More than 10 government agencies were involved but Collins did not know what this had cost.
"It hasn't been my focus. Once we are able to formally declare some sort of victory from it all then will be the time when people will be looking at it. It's the same with any inquiry or review."
Airlines continue to operate on 80 per cent of usual fuel supplies out of Auckland but passengers should not expect any disruption during the school holidays, said Justin Tighe-Umbers, the executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives of New Zealand.
Petrol and diesel supplies into Auckland would not return to normal until next week but so far there had only been isolated shortages of some grades of petrol.