Thirty-six million litres of petrol and diesel were unloaded at the Port of Tauranga and tankers will be operating 24/7 to deliver it to Auckland.

Port of Tauranga boss Mark Cairns said the coastal vessel Matuku made the delivery yesterday and today it was headed back to the New Zealand refinery to pick up more fuel.

The Matuku would collect all fuel grades for delivery to Wellington, Nelson and New Plymouth, an industry spokesman said.

Mr Cairns said the Port of Tauranga had a terminal facility for avgas for turbo powered craft but he was not aware of any conversation about Tauranga handling jet fuel.


Today, the fuel import vessel Stena Paris was due to arrive at the Port of Tauranga to discharge regular petrol and diesel, he said.

Since the fuel pipe which supplied almost all of Auckland's fuel was taken offline on September 14, extra petrol has been trucked to Auckland from Mount Maunganui and Marsden Point refinery.

Andrew McNaught, Mobil New Zealand boss and acting spokesman for the industry, said the fuel situation was well under control.

"All fuel suppliers remained acutely aware of the impact of the jet fuel allocations on airlines and customers," he said

Mr McNaught said the industry was still deciding whether to or not it would convert existing chemical tanks to store jet fuel,

"We are considering this decision very carefully as these tanks are not designed for jet fuel and we need the highest level of assurance that using them for jet fuel will not, in any way, impact on the quality of the product, he said.

Mr McNaught said the industry would today test a new jet fuelling facility in Whangarei, while good progress was being made on repairs to the pipeline, which was on track to be completed by Tuesday, September 26.

Bay of Plenty motorists had no reason to panic.


Z Energy external communications spokeswoman Sheena Thomas said: "We have increased our coastal shipping activities at ports around the country, especially at Mount Maunganui to ensure there is steady supply."

Concerns had been sparked after reports that 13 petrol stations in Auckland had run out of premium 95 octane petrol on Monday afternoon.

"We're talking about 10-odd Z stations out of 70 sites in Auckland, and our competitors appear to have supplies of premium grade fuel."

A spokeswoman at independently owned gas station Paengaroa Autoworld said there had been no panic buying, and only one customer had asked whether it was okay to fill up.