UPDATE 9.26AM: The Mauao base track is currently closed.
"This is a precautionary measure following advice from the Harbour Master regarding the grounded ship," says a post on the Tauranga City Council Facebook page.
"We hope to open the track up again mid-late morning. We’ll keep you posted."
A departing log ship has lost engine power at the entrance to Tauranga Harbour early this morning.
The Funing, a Singaporean-registered log carrier, is currently anchored near the base of Mauao with two Port of Tauranga tug boats in attendance.
The ship has about 20 people on board, including a Port of Tauranga pilot, says a Port of Tauranga spokesperson.
"The incident occurred about 12.30am, as the Funing departed Port of Tauranga for China.
"Maritime New Zealand and the Tauranga Harbourmaster are in attendance and all other shipping is on hold."
Maritime NZ Deputy Director Safety and Response Systems, Nigel Clifford, says no oil or other pollution has been reported from the vessel nor any injuries to the crew.
Tauranga port authorities have set up a response centre to manage the event. Maritime NZ has established a team to provide coordination and support.
The vessel appears to be on the edge of the shipping channel. The seabed at that point of the channel is sandy.
Weather and sea conditions at the time of the engine failure were fairly poor, with a 30 knot wind and significant swell.
The forecast for today is for the wind and swell to ease throughout the day.
The tide is now rising, with high tide at 7.40am.