256 tonnes of oil has now been pumped from the port tank of the stricken container vessel Rena.

The focus for the salvage operators today has been to:

* Pump oil from the main port tank,

* Install pumps in the settling tanks


* Assess how oil may be pumped from the submerged number 5 starboard tank, and

* Continue loading necessary equipment onto the Rena to assist with the removal of oil.

Maritime New Zealand Salvage Unit Manager Bruce Anderson said it was good to see the slow but steady removal of fuel from the ship.

"Every drop of oil the salvors remove is another drop that won't go into the marine environment. Maritime New Zealand is encouraging the salvors to explore every avenue to speed up the process, and their commitment to this is demonstrated with the four different work streams we have seen today."

The vessel Pancaldo has been retrieving some of the containers that fell from the Rena and have settled on the ocean floor, focusing on the coastline in front of the main Mount Maunganui beach.


Clean-ups continued at five main points along 30km of coastline, and at Waihau Bay, about 200km from Tauranga.

Booms were also put in place today to protect Maketu Estuary from possible oil pollution.