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Published: 2009-04-30 00:00:00

An Environment Waikato oil spill exercise in Raglan harbour attracted plenty of attention from local residents yesterday.

“We had lots of people coming down to see what was going on and even had calls to our 0800 number from people who could see the action unfolding in the harbour,” Environment Waikato’s regional on-scene commander Adam Munro said.

No actual oil was put into the harbour during the exercise, which was held adjacent to the Raglan Kopua Holiday Park boat ramp from 11.00am-2.30pm. 

The drill was designed to help council staff train for a real oil spill emergency, with oil recovery equipment such as booms (floating fences), storage tanks and rope mops deployed.

Environment Waikato is legally required to conduct these exercises every year, with equipment and funding provided by Maritime New Zealand.

“The equipment is highly specialised, so our emergency response team needs regular training with it,” Mr Munro said.

“This ensures we can respond quickly and efficiently to protect people and the environment during the real thing.”

The drill involved a number of other agencies, including Waikato District Council and Mighty River Power.

Mr Munro said the day was a success and it was great to have so much interest from the Raglan community.