The numbers of birds being cared for at Tauranga's oiled wildlife response centre is mounting and now stands at more than 200
During a tour last Monday New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he was highly impressed by the rescue operation and the passion shown by all those involved. He said some of the saddest images were of the dead wildlife.
"We know over 1200 birds have lost their lives, we need to try and minimise that as much as we can. The great work that's happening here is certainly saving a lot of lives."
Mr Key also met some Tauranga fisheries and tourism operators and the Chamber of Commerce to try to get a clearer picture of the impacts of the oil spill and said he was told about 100 businesses may have so far been affected.
While the Government considers a recovery package for those affected the full scale of the impacts on the local economy is "just impossible to know". Mr Key said he fully appreciated the concern in the community and the Government had several legal avenues it could explore in seeking compensation from the ship's owners and their insurers. However he said the immediate big concern was getting the oil off the ship before it breaks up.
The cost of the clean-up is mounting and currently stands at $4 million.
Source: Bay of Plenty Times