Maritime NZ unit devoted to Rena

Aerial shot taken in the morning of Sunday, October 23, showing a sheen of oil that had leaked from the Rena overnight.
1 of 37Maritime New Zealand
Aerial shot taken in the morning of Sunday, October 23, showing a sheen of oil that had leaked from the Rena overnight.
Photo taken by salvage team looking out of Rena's bridge showing the list of the vessel against the horizon.
2 of 37Svitzer
Photo taken by salvage team looking out of Rena's bridge showing the list of the vessel against the horizon.
Rena's bow is broken and twisted from the impact with the Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga.
3 of 37NZDF
Rena's bow is broken and twisted from the impact with the Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga.
Calm conditions around Astrolabe Reef on Thursday, October 20, allowed these close up photos of the Rena's stern to be taken.
4 of 37NZDF
Calm conditions around Astrolabe Reef on Thursday, October 20, allowed these close up photos of the Rena's stern to be taken.
The ocean washes in and out of the wide fracture on Rena's starboard side.
5 of 37NZDF
The ocean washes in and out of the wide fracture on Rena's starboard side.
Rena's remaining containers hang precariously. More than 80 containers have fallen overboard. Many have come ashore, and others are being located on the seabed.
6 of 37NZDF
Rena's remaining containers hang precariously. More than 80 containers have fallen overboard. Many have come ashore, and others are being located on the seabed.
A Maritime NZ diagram  shows how the Rena is grounded on the Astrolabe Reef.
7 of 37Maritime NZ
A Maritime NZ diagram shows how the Rena is grounded on the Astrolabe Reef.
A Maritime NZ  diagram shows how the Rena is grounded on the Astrolabe Reef.
8 of 37Maritime NZ
A Maritime NZ diagram shows how the Rena is grounded on the Astrolabe Reef.
HANGING IN THERE: The Awanuia sits behind the Rena and its leaning stack of containers.
9 of 37CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
HANGING IN THERE: The Awanuia sits behind the Rena and its leaning stack of containers.
CLEAR SPELL: Salvors are racing against time to remove oil from the Rena before bad weather hits late on Monday, October 17.
10 of 37CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
CLEAR SPELL: Salvors are racing against time to remove oil from the Rena before bad weather hits late on Monday, October 17.
HEAVY LIST: Rena's cargo sits precariously on the deck of the ship.
11 of 37CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
HEAVY LIST: Rena's cargo sits precariously on the deck of the ship.
Containers from the grounded cargo ship Rena are removed from east of the main beach at Mt Maunganui after washing ashore.
12 of 37Iain McGregor/Fairfax
Containers from the grounded cargo ship Rena are removed from east of the main beach at Mt Maunganui after washing ashore.
Salvors have attached platforms to the stricken ship Rena.
13 of 37Svitzer
Salvors have attached platforms to the stricken ship Rena.
Platforms salvors have attached to the Rena as they attempt to resume pumping oil from the stricken ship.
14 of 37Svitzer
Platforms salvors have attached to the Rena as they attempt to resume pumping oil from the stricken ship.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopter winches a salvage expert onto the stricken container ship Rena.
15 of 37Reuters
A Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopter winches a salvage expert onto the stricken container ship Rena.
DEFORMED: Damage to the Rena's structure.
16 of 37Supplied
DEFORMED: Damage to the Rena's structure.
HEAVY DAMAGE: Rena lists to starboard, with the damage to her hull clear.
17 of 37Supplied
HEAVY DAMAGE: Rena lists to starboard, with the damage to her hull clear.
An Air Force Iroquois helicopter lowers crew onto the Rena, Thursday October 13. What looks like smoke billowing from the ship is probably milk powder, Fonterra said. There were 90 containers of the product on the ship.
18 of 37ANDREW GORRIE
An Air Force Iroquois helicopter lowers crew onto the Rena, Thursday October 13. What looks like smoke billowing from the ship is probably milk powder, Fonterra said. There were 90 containers of the product on the ship.
An Air Force Iroquois helicopter lowers crew onto the Rena.
19 of 37ANDREW GORRIE
An Air Force Iroquois helicopter lowers crew onto the Rena.
The slick drifting from the Rena, seen from the air, Thursday October 13.
20 of 37ANDREW GORRIE
The slick drifting from the Rena, seen from the air, Thursday October 13.
This image shows a crack appearing in the middle of the Rena's hull.
21 of 37TVNZ
This image shows a crack appearing in the middle of the Rena's hull.
Containers have also been crushed as heavy swells wash across Rena's deck.
22 of 37Mark Alen
Containers have also been crushed as heavy swells wash across Rena's deck.
Rena losing containers as heavy swells wash across the ship's deck on the starboard side.
23 of 37Mark Alen
Rena losing containers as heavy swells wash across the ship's deck on the starboard side.
A container coming ashore on the northern side of Motiti Island, which is around 7km from the ship grounding site.
24 of 37Lynda Wikeepa
A container coming ashore on the northern side of Motiti Island, which is around 7km from the ship grounding site.
The first container to hit the rocks and break-up on the northern side of Motiti Island, which is around 7km from the ship.
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The first container to hit the rocks and break-up on the northern side of Motiti Island, which is around 7km from the ship.
POUNDED: Waves crash onto the listing Rena's deck.
26 of 37BLAIR HARKNESS/Supplied
POUNDED: Waves crash onto the listing Rena's deck.
Many containers on the Rena's top deck are tipped on a heavy angle, close to toppling off.
27 of 37Rick Curach
Many containers on the Rena's top deck are tipped on a heavy angle, close to toppling off.
This photo taken from the HMNZS Endeavour shows Rena listing in heavy seas. Between 30 and 70 containers fell from the Rena overnight.
28 of 37New Zealand Defence Force
This photo taken from the HMNZS Endeavour shows Rena listing in heavy seas. Between 30 and 70 containers fell from the Rena overnight.
INJURED: A naval officer is carried to an ambulance after a member of the salvage crew fell on him during the evacuation of the ship.
29 of 37SunLive.co.nz
INJURED: A naval officer is carried to an ambulance after a member of the salvage crew fell on him during the evacuation of the ship.
RENA: The ship has 1368 containers on board.
30 of 37Bay of Plenty Regional Council
RENA: The ship has 1368 containers on board.
LISTING: Waves break over the reef while the Rena sits, stranded.
31 of 37PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ
LISTING: Waves break over the reef while the Rena sits, stranded.
The Rena, a Liberia-flagged 235m vessel, had been heading to Tauranga from Napier when it crashed into the Astrolabe Reef, about 7km north of Motiti Island.
32 of 37CHRIS HILLOCK/Waikato Times
The Rena, a Liberia-flagged 235m vessel, had been heading to Tauranga from Napier when it crashed into the Astrolabe Reef, about 7km north of Motiti Island.
Low tide showed the extent of the problems facing the Rena's specialist salvage team.
33 of 37PETER DRURY/Waikato Times
Low tide showed the extent of the problems facing the Rena's specialist salvage team.
The crew had remained onboard despite the vessel's list.
34 of 37PETER DRURY/Waikato Times
The crew had remained onboard despite the vessel's list.
The crippled Rena, with  a growing oil slick, off the coast of Mt Maunganui.
35 of 37SUNLIVE.CO.NZ
The crippled Rena, with a growing oil slick, off the coast of Mt Maunganui.
The Rena, a Liberia-flagged 235m vessel, had been heading to Tauranga from Napier when it crashed into the Astrolabe Reef, about 7km north of Motiti Island.
36 of 37CHRIS HILLOCK/Waikato Times
The Rena, a Liberia-flagged 235m vessel, had been heading to Tauranga from Napier when it crashed into the Astrolabe Reef, about 7km north of Motiti Island.
The Rena, a Liberia-flagged 235m vessel, had been heading to Tauranga from Napier when it crashed into the Astrolabe Reef, about 7km north of Motiti Island.
37 of 37CHRIS HILLOCK/Waikato Times
The Rena, a Liberia-flagged 235m vessel, had been heading to Tauranga from Napier when it crashed into the Astrolabe Reef, about 7km north of Motiti Island.

Maritime New Zealand will establish a dedicated unit to manage the response, investigation and inquiry into the Rena's grounding.

But officials are unsure how much the unit and its activities will cost.

The organisation placed an advertisement in The Dominion Post on Wednesday for a general manager for the unit that would comprise "MNZ staff, secondees and specialists".

Oil responder Bruce Goff with the Terminator oil skimmer ready for deployment. on Sunday, October 23.
1 of 50Maritime New Zealand
Oil responder Bruce Goff with the Terminator oil skimmer ready for deployment. on Sunday, October 23.
Debris covered in oil have wash-up at Waihau Bay on the East Cape where Taika Waititi's Boy was filmed.
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Debris covered in oil have wash-up at Waihau Bay on the East Cape where Taika Waititi's Boy was filmed.
EN MASSE: Protesters march against deep sea drilling in Tauranga, ahead of the appearance of the Rena's captain and navigator in court.
3 of 50BRUCE MERCER/Fairfax NZ
EN MASSE: Protesters march against deep sea drilling in Tauranga, ahead of the appearance of the Rena's captain and navigator in court.
IN NUMBERS: Protesters march against deep sea drilling in Tauranga.
4 of 50BRUCE MERCER/Fairfax NZ
IN NUMBERS: Protesters march against deep sea drilling in Tauranga.
MAKING A STAND: Protesters gather outside the Tauranga District Court ahead of the appearances of the Rena's captain and navigator on Wednesday, October 19.
5 of 50KIRSTY JOHNSTON/FairfaxNZ
MAKING A STAND: Protesters gather outside the Tauranga District Court ahead of the appearances of the Rena's captain and navigator on Wednesday, October 19.
AGAINST DRILLING: Protesters march against offshore drilling ahead of the appearances of the Rena's captain and navigator in the Tauranga District Court on Wednesday, October 19.
6 of 50KIRSTY JOHNSTON/FairfaxNZ
AGAINST DRILLING: Protesters march against offshore drilling ahead of the appearances of the Rena's captain and navigator in the Tauranga District Court on Wednesday, October 19.
Wellington Zoo vet Baukje Lenting with a Little Blue Penguin that is at Tauranga’s  Bird Recovery Centre having oil cleaned from it using a toothbrush.
7 of 50Craig Simcox/The Dominion Post
Wellington Zoo vet Baukje Lenting with a Little Blue Penguin that is at Tauranga’s Bird Recovery Centre having oil cleaned from it using a toothbrush.
PM John Key visits the Bird recovery Centre where he watches Little blue Penguins that have been cleaned of oil.
8 of 50Craig Simcox/The Dominion Post
PM John Key visits the Bird recovery Centre where he watches Little blue Penguins that have been cleaned of oil.
Advice about wildlife that may be affected by the Rena oil spill, at Mt Maunganui.
9 of 50Kirsty Johnston
Advice about wildlife that may be affected by the Rena oil spill, at Mt Maunganui.
A seagull shows the effects of the spilt oil at Makatu.
10 of 50CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
A seagull shows the effects of the spilt oil at Makatu.
Containers on Mount Maunganui Beach.
11 of 50NAOMI WILLIS
Containers on Mount Maunganui Beach.
Volunteers clean up packets of burger patties from the broken container washed up on Mount Maunganui Beach.
12 of 50NAOMI WILLIS
Volunteers clean up packets of burger patties from the broken container washed up on Mount Maunganui Beach.
Prime Minister John Key attended a public meeting in Papamoa and went in a helicopter to see the Rena.
13 of 50IAIN McGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
Prime Minister John Key attended a public meeting in Papamoa and went in a helicopter to see the Rena.
ON THE MOVE: A container is hauled off the beach.
14 of 50CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
ON THE MOVE: A container is hauled off the beach.
A little blue penguin awaits transportation to the National Oiled Wildlife Recovery Centre in Tauranga.
15 of 50KIM WESTERSKOV/Supplied
A little blue penguin awaits transportation to the National Oiled Wildlife Recovery Centre in Tauranga.
SCATTERED: Containers on the beach just south of Mount Maunganui.
16 of 50Supplied
SCATTERED: Containers on the beach just south of Mount Maunganui.
SALVAGE:Containers sit in the water on Mt Maunganui beach. Pictured Friday, October 14.
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SALVAGE:Containers sit in the water on Mt Maunganui beach. Pictured Friday, October 14.
STRANDED: One of the Rena's broken containers which washed up on Mt Maunganui beach. Pictured Friday, October 14.
18 of 50Supplied
STRANDED: One of the Rena's broken containers which washed up on Mt Maunganui beach. Pictured Friday, October 14.
PULLED ASHORE: One of the Rena's broken containers which washed up on Mt Maunganui beach. Pictured Friday, October 14.
19 of 50Supplied
PULLED ASHORE: One of the Rena's broken containers which washed up on Mt Maunganui beach. Pictured Friday, October 14.
Oil scooped from the surface of the water inside the Rena shipwreck's 1km exclusion zone.
20 of 50SunLive.co.nz
Oil scooped from the surface of the water inside the Rena shipwreck's 1km exclusion zone.
Oil booms are prepared at the Maketu Estuary in the Bay of Plenty, Thursday October 13.
21 of 50Reuters
Oil booms are prepared at the Maketu Estuary in the Bay of Plenty, Thursday October 13.
Territorial soldiers from Auckland clean up Papamoa Beach, near Tauranga, Thursday October 13.
22 of 50Reuters
Territorial soldiers from Auckland clean up Papamoa Beach, near Tauranga, Thursday October 13.
Containers washed up at Papamoa Beach, Thursday October 13.
23 of 50CORMAC SEYMOUR
Containers washed up at Papamoa Beach, Thursday October 13.
Two containers seen at Papamoa Beach on Thursday October 13.
24 of 50CORMAC SEYMOUR
Two containers seen at Papamoa Beach on Thursday October 13.
The clean-up operation on Papamoa Beach, Thursday October 13.
25 of 50WENDILEE DEVLIN
The clean-up operation on Papamoa Beach, Thursday October 13.
Oil on Papamoa Beach, Thursday October 13.
26 of 50WENDILEE DEVLIN
Oil on Papamoa Beach, Thursday October 13.
Packets of meat patties from a container off the Rena have washed up on Mt Maunganui beach.
27 of 50PALOMA MIGONE/Stuff
Packets of meat patties from a container off the Rena have washed up on Mt Maunganui beach.
Police check a container that has washed up on Mt Maunganui beach.
28 of 50ANDREW GORRIE/The Dominion Post
Police check a container that has washed up on Mt Maunganui beach.
The bleak scene as containers wash up on Mt Maunganui beach.
29 of 50ANDREW GORRIE/The Dominion Post
The bleak scene as containers wash up on Mt Maunganui beach.
A man walks on Mt Maunganui Beach, with a container from the stricken Rena in the distance, Thursday October 13.
30 of 50ANDREW GORRIE
A man walks on Mt Maunganui Beach, with a container from the stricken Rena in the distance, Thursday October 13.
A woman walks past a container from the stricken Rena, washed up on Mt Maunganui Beach, Thursday October 13.
31 of 50ANDREW GORRIE
A woman walks past a container from the stricken Rena, washed up on Mt Maunganui Beach, Thursday October 13.
A container from the stricken Rena, washed up on Mt Maunganui Beach, Thursday October 13.
32 of 50ANDREW GORRIE
A container from the stricken Rena, washed up on Mt Maunganui Beach, Thursday October 13.
Oil washes up on Papamoa Beach.
33 of 50Rick Curach
Oil washes up on Papamoa Beach.
WAITING COLLECTION: Scores of bags full of oil await collection in Papamoa.
34 of 50AIDY PARNELL/Supplied
WAITING COLLECTION: Scores of bags full of oil await collection in Papamoa.
LOADING: Bags full of oil are collected from the beach at Papamoa.
35 of 50AIDY PARNELL/Supplied
LOADING: Bags full of oil are collected from the beach at Papamoa.
CLEAN-UP: Papamoa beach is covered with oil sludge
36 of 50ANDREW GORRIE/Fairfax Media
CLEAN-UP: Papamoa beach is covered with oil sludge
SPOILED: Papamoa beach is covered in oil
37 of 50PETER CRANE/Supplied
SPOILED: Papamoa beach is covered in oil
CRIPPLED: A wandering albatross covered in oil in Tauranga
38 of 50RUSSEL NORMAN/Facebook
CRIPPLED: A wandering albatross covered in oil in Tauranga
SOILED: Oil blobs at the Maketu shoreline
39 of 50RUSSEL NORMAN/Facebook
SOILED: Oil blobs at the Maketu shoreline
CLEAN-UP: Volunteers collecting oil sludge from the beach at Papamoa
40 of 50ERENA LEE LAGAS/Supplied
CLEAN-UP: Volunteers collecting oil sludge from the beach at Papamoa
CLEAN-UP: Volunteers help clean up the oil from the beach at Papamoa
41 of 50ERENA LEE LAGAS/Supplied
CLEAN-UP: Volunteers help clean up the oil from the beach at Papamoa
COVERED: A bird lies dead on Mt Maunganui beach today.
42 of 50ROSSILAND McINTOSH/Supplied
COVERED: A bird lies dead on Mt Maunganui beach today.
Tauranga resident Chris Munro on Mt Maunganui beach, Wednesday morning.
43 of 50ANDREW GORRIE
Tauranga resident Chris Munro on Mt Maunganui beach, Wednesday morning.
Environment Minister Nick Smith (centre) and Transport Minister Steven Joyce (right) at a public meeting in Tauranga to discuss the unfolding disaster.
44 of 50Bruce Mercer/Fairfax Media
Environment Minister Nick Smith (centre) and Transport Minister Steven Joyce (right) at a public meeting in Tauranga to discuss the unfolding disaster.
DEBRIS: Oil residues on Omanu beach at the 5 1/2 km beach entry point, Tuesday morning. Photographer Todd Murdoch says: 'I could smell the oil close to my house which is located 1km back from the beach.'
45 of 50TODD MURDOCH
DEBRIS: Oil residues on Omanu beach at the 5 1/2 km beach entry point, Tuesday morning. Photographer Todd Murdoch says: 'I could smell the oil close to my house which is located 1km back from the beach.'
CASUALTY: One of the penguins that died following the oil spill. This was found at Papamoa just after high tide today.
46 of 50TODD MURDOCH/Supplied
CASUALTY: One of the penguins that died following the oil spill. This was found at Papamoa just after high tide today.
UNSURVIVABLE: A bird that has been washed up on the beach, coated in oil.
47 of 50Supplied
UNSURVIVABLE: A bird that has been washed up on the beach, coated in oil.
LONG JOB: Volunteers help clean up the oil from the beach at Mt Maunganui.
48 of 50ANDREW GORRIE/Fairfax NZ
LONG JOB: Volunteers help clean up the oil from the beach at Mt Maunganui.
Oil on the beach near Mount Maunganui.
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Oil on the beach near Mount Maunganui.
Sunny, 9 years, with his dead fish on Mt Maunganui beach.
50 of 50CALLUM HAMOR
Sunny, 9 years, with his dead fish on Mt Maunganui beach.

About 350 of the 1700 tonnes of oil on board spilled into the ocean after the cargo ship ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef, near Tauranga, on October 5.

Several inquiries are under way and the ship's master and navigational officer have been charged under the Maritime Safety Act and are awaiting trial.

A Maritime NZ spokeswoman said the Rena response was expected to take up to two years – and a dedicated unit was needed so the organisation could also handle other business-as-usual activities.

Salvage crews continue to slowly remove containers from the Rena.
1 of 4Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Salvage crews continue to slowly remove containers from the Rena.
Food products are tipped out of a container at the Truman Lane container processing site.
2 of 4Maritime New Zealand
Food products are tipped out of a container at the Truman Lane container processing site.
Stevedore Tix Rirnui wraps butter removed from Rena. The butter is being sent for testing to see if it can be converted into bio-diesel.
3 of 4Maritime New Zealand
Stevedore Tix Rirnui wraps butter removed from Rena. The butter is being sent for testing to see if it can be converted into bio-diesel.
The crack in the Rena's side.
4 of 4Bay of Plenty Regional Council
The crack in the Rena's side.

"MNZ is a small organisation, and large numbers of its staff are already working on these work streams. Given the long-term nature of the Rena response, this will impact on MNZ's ability to deliver its mandatory regulatory and safety functions."

The unit's core duties would be to provide and co-ordinate the investigations, prosecutions, salvage operations and removal of the wreck, as well as assisting with negotiations between the Rena's owners and insurers.

Many Maritime NZ staff were now working on the Rena incident, but despite this, the size of the business unit and its budget could not be provided, she said.

Transport, Accident and Investigation Commission spokesman Peter Northcote said while most of the fact-gathering had been done, its investigation into the grounding was at an early stage.

A time frame of between 12 and 24 months from the accident date was common, but the commission aimed to finish the investigation in a year, he said.

Salvage crews have removed 166 of almost 1300 containers on the Rena.