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Update from Bay of Plenty Police: Rena

Update from Bay of Plenty Police: Rena

Maritime New Zealand, Police and other agencies are repeating their request to members of the public not to interfere with any shipping containers that may wash ashore from the Rena.

“We are asking members of the public to call 0800 OIL SPILL to notify authorities of the location of any containers so that they can be assessed by Police and Fire Service and recovered by the appropriate people,” says Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair, the officer managing the Police support to the Maritime NZ operation.

“The containers remain the property of the original owners or insurers. People should not attempt to open any of the containers, as some of them may contain hazardous material.

“It is an offence to attempt to open or retrieve any of the containers and anyone found attempting to interfere with the containers will be dealt with by Police.”

Inspector Wright-St Clair says people have a statutory responsibility to notify authorities about the location of any containers.

He says the Police role in the Rena operation continues to be supporting Maritime NZ, who is the lead agency.

“Police staff will continue to have a visible presence around the beachfront areas. This is both to provide reassurance to members of the community, as well as to provide support to Maritime NZ and oil spill response activities.

“Maritime NZ have restricted access to the beach areas from Mt Maunganui to Maketu Point, including the Maketu Estuary. This is to enable the oil spill response activities to take place, whilst also being mindful of people’s safety.

“The Police role on any given day is to help ensure public safety and that role continues through this operation.

“We’re asking people to respect the restricted access so that Maritime NZ and others can do their job. We will be advising people of the restriction and asking them to leave the area.”

ENDS

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