The latest disruption to the Marsden Point to Auckland fuel pipeline at the weekend is still being felt by motorists in the city.

The pipeline supplies petrol, diesel and jet fuel from the Marsden Pt Refinery to the Wiri Oil Terminal in South Auckland. It supplies about 95 per cent of Auckland's total fuel, including all of Auckland International Airport's jet fuel.

The 170km pipeline was shut down for more than 12 hours on Sunday following what turned out to be a false alarm from a leak detection system.

There were already lower supplies following the rupture of the Refining NZ pipeline at Ruakaka in September. The pipeline has been operating at 80 per cent capacity since then and it could be early next year until it was fully restored.


On Tuesday some Z stations ran out of petrol at sites from Pt Chevalier to Clevedon and at that time BP and Mobil said outages at their sites would be minimal and short-lived.

Z today said both grades of petrol were back in stock at its Greenlane site having earlier been unavailable. Diesel, however, had run out and was due to be replenished tomorrow.

"The latest Refinery to Auckland Pipeline disruptions have exacerbated already tight supplies driven by the pipeline not operating at full capacity, very strong jet fuel demand and long spells of hot, dry weather boosting ground transport fuel demand," said a Z spokeswoman.

"It's important to remember there is no shortage of fuel, rather it has been particularly difficult to get it to where it is needed most.

"This logistics challenge in getting more fuel from ports to service stations will result in some service stations running out of some fuel varieties in the short term. These shortages will be occasional and won't last long as we work to replenish stocks as soon as possible," she said.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern was again asked about the disrupted fuel supplies in Auckland as a result of the pipeline fiasco. Credit: Mark Mitchell

Earlier this year, the pipeline was shut for 10 days after it burst near Ruakaka, spilling up to 80,000 litres of fuel on nearby farmland and causing severe disruption to flights.

The travel plans of thousands of people were affected during the crisis, which saw the cancellation of scores of flights in September.

The HMNZS Endeavour was eventually deployed to transport fuel and 20 Defence Force category 5 tanker drivers hit the roads between Marsden Point and the airport.


An independent Government inquiry will be launched next year into the pipeline.

A back up plan for trucking fuel to Auckland and alternative storage facilities are among the options for the high-level inquiry to consider to make the fuel supply to Auckland less vulnerable.