The truck loading facility at the Marsden Pt refinery has begun rolling out fuel-laden tankers.

Ther facility was tested for product quality and safety on Thursday and a trial loading into a road tanker took place.

"All going well, other road tankers will be loaded thereafter," Refining New Zealand communications manager Greg McNeill said.

Emergency services were on hand at the refinery on Friday as the loading got underway in earnest.


Twelve army drivers have been deployed to drive the civilian tankers taking jet fuel to Auckland, Palmerston North and Napier around the clock from Thursday until Saturday, September 30.

The navy's oil tanker, HMNZN Endeavour arrived at Port Marsden at around 4pm on Thursday to fill up with 4.8 million litres of diesel for delivery to ports in New Zealand.

The massive payload will free up other delivery resources to get jet fuel by road to Auckland.

The Endeavour could carry the equivalent of 150 road tankers of fuel.

Refinery chief executive Sjoerd Post described the pipeline failure as a disaster, but one in which no lives or homes were lost - which was always the worst possible scenario when dealing with oil products and delivery.

Asked whether there had been a serious chance the country, or even Auckland, would be crippled by the lack of oil flow, Mr Post said that was not a question the refinery was best placed to answer.

The refinery's task was to manage the refined oil's distribution, whereas it was up to petrol and major transport companies such as Air New Zealand to manage its storage and use.

He said the work had progressed to plan in difficult circumstances and once the refinery was back to capacity there would be a review of the processes, how things went and what might be done differently if needed in the future.