The Marsden Point to Auckland fuel pipeline has been restarted this evening after it was shut down after a scare this morning.

Customers of Refining New Zealand received a notification this morning that the pipeline, which carries fuel from Northland to storage tanks into South Auckland's Wiri, had been temporarily shut down after an alarm from the pipeline's monitoring system went off.

The alarm activated about 5.15am.

After it ruptured in September, near Marsden Point, the pipeline has been running at reduced pressure. Today's short outage will also have an impact; resulting in lower than usual stock levels at the terminal in Wiri, which supplies aviation fuel to Auckland's International Airport.


A Refining NZ spokesman said a series of checks throughout the day had determined that the pipeline is fit for service.

''Based on the information from our investigation we believe there was no leak, and at around 6pm this evening the decision was taken to restart the pipeline,'' he said.

Any significant disruption to aviation and road fuel supplies would have been a blow for airlines as they enter the peak holiday flying period and motorists ahead of the holiday driving season.

Investigations in the September incident are continuing after a digger is thought to have caused damage some time before the pipeline broke, spewing aviation fuel into a swamp.

The government is still working on the framework for a likely inquiry.

A report prepared for the Ministry of Economic Development, which was subsumed into MBIE, found New Zealand's national fuel supply network was reasonably robust and adept at responding to most disruptions.

However, there was a risk to Auckland supply because the Marsden Point refinery supplies almost all of the city's fuel through the refinery-to-Auckland pipeline.