A tanker with some 16,000 litres of fuel on board overturned in Bay of Plenty this morning, leaking large quantities of petrol and diesel into the environment.

Fire Service northern communications shift manager Paul Radden said the incident occurred on Old Coach Rd in Paengaroa, south-east of Te Puke, shortly before 9am.

Two of the tanker's four compartments had ruptured, one containing 91 petrol the other diesel.

The tanker was full and thought to contain about 16,000 litres of fuel in total, Mr Radden said.


The truck's driver was taken to hospital by ambulance. He was not thought to be seriously injured.

Emergency workers were doing what they could to stop the fuel going into drains and waterways to prevent environmental damage.

Eight appliances were in attendance, including a specialist spills unit from Tauranga.