Offshore New Plymouth was dotted with an unusual number of ships yesterday.
At least eight were seen anchored at sea during the day, which harbour master John Ireland said was high for Port Taranaki.
"We're particularly busy at the moment. Ships don't run to timetables, they're ordered months ahead," he said.
It was speculated that rough seas or Monday's chemical leak at the port may have been linked to their offshore placement, but Mr Ireland said there was simply no vacancy.
"It's a typical feast or famine we get in the port. For a week or two we have ships arriving conveniently, but sometimes they arrive all at once and we don't have the berths. They have to wait their turn."
One of the large ships was returning from an offshore production platform, and a further ship waited with cargo.
Port Taranaki will be working through arrivals and departures over the next couple of days.
- Taranaki Daily News
Testing drugs on animals is:Related story: Animal tests 'key' to brain disease cures