New Zealand oil experts are on the way to Samoa where a container ship has grounded at the entrance to Apia Harbour.

Three pollution response advisors, a nautical expert and an environmental specialist have been flown to the island nation on an Air Force Hercules to help contain any oil spill.

Equipment includes floating booms, pumps, liquid waste holding tanks and absorbent booms and pads.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the deployment is a prudent response to assist against the possibility of an oil spill.