Salvage crews have successfully removed all the remaining oil from a cargo ship that ran aground on a New Zealand reef, avoiding an even worse environmental disaster.
The vessel Rena grounded on the Astrolabe reef near Tauranga on October 5, and authorities feared the worst as about 385 tonnes of oil initially spilled into the ocean, fouling local beaches.
But in a stop-start effort, salvage crews began pumping oil in the days after the grounding while bad weather threatened to tear the ship apart.
On Monday, Maritime New Zealand announced it had finished pumping 1,454 tonnes of oil from the ship and was sending a sea crane to the vessel to begin removing some of the 1,280 containers that remain on board.
New Zealand's government has welcomed the news.