Auckland Airport responds to temporary fuel disruption

Virtually all of Auckland's fuel supply comes from a single ten inch pipe. The vulnerability is well known yet little

Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins has spoken to Refining NZ and the heads of fuel companies affected by the disruption to the Marsden Point pipeline to Auckland and offered Government support if it is required.

The Northern Advocate newspaper is carrying a supplied photo of a kauri log lifted from a farm at Ruakaka, where the pipeline was cut.

"Right now they're still assessing the damage and what may have caused it. Pipeline experts have been called in, including some from Canada".

"There are fuel stocks on hand in Auckland and additional stocks of petrol and diesel are being trucked in directly from the refinery, and from the terminal in Mt Maunganui".

"Due to a shortage of fuel at Auckland International Airport, your flight will operate from Auckland to Dubai via Christchurch. We appreciate this will be inconvenient and will require airlines to take alternative fuelling measures", spokesman Andrew McNaught said.

This has resulted in approximately 27 domestic and global flights being cancelled so far this weekend.

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Aircraft will also be filling up in Wellington and Christchurch but some long-haul services to and from Asia and North America will have to stop and refuel at Pacific or Australian airports.

Air New Zealand Chief Operations Integrity & Standards Officer Captain David Morgan says: "Unfortunately this is an industry wide issue caused by the physical failure of an essential fuel pipeline".

Prime Minister Bill English told reporters on the campaign trail in Botany today that he had instructed ministers to "offer all assistance that the Government can" to restore aviation fuel supplies.

A helicopter was put up to survey the pipeline and the leak was identified on farmland at Ruakaka, about 8km from the Marsden Point refinery.

There is now no indication as to when leak will fixed, but until then no fuel can be sent down the pipeline.

McNaught said this was the first time that the refinery to Auckland pipeline had experienced a fault.

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