Regional council staff will be exercising with boats and oil booms around the tanker berth on Thursday in an exercise called Operation Basil Brush.
Basil Brush is an English puppet popularised on a TV show, and known for a characteristic cry of ‘Ha, ha, ha; Boom! Boom!'
The exercise is based on containing a spill at the cement/tanker berth near the southern end of the Mount Maunganui wharf.
Participants have been informed that the incident involves an oil transfer company losing some of its product at the tanker terminal, says a BOP regional council spokesperson.
“They have been informed that onsite staff has deployed some booms, but no further details are being released ahead of then so as to allow participants to react to unknown events.”
Up to 50 people will be taking part the marine oil spill exercise. Organised by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the exercise will help maintain and build oil spill response capability amongst industry and first responders at New Zealand's busiest port.
More than half of those taking part will be Regional Council staff, and also include representatives from Department of Conservation, Maritime NZ, Waikato Regional Council and iwi representatives. Also present will be everyone responsible for transferring oil at the Port of Tauranga. The exercise will be held between 8am – 4pm, and involve multiple boats in the water.