New Zealand faces airport chaos as Auckland fuel supply is cut

NZ shares were mostly unchanged at the start of election week but Air New Zealand dropped and A2 milk rose

New Zealand faces airport chaos as Auckland fuel supply is cut

Mobil Oil New Zealand manager Andrew McNaught said Refining NZ's Auckland pipeline had been temporarily shutdown. However, closer inspection has shown that the damaged section needs to be replaced.

Mr McNaught said Auckland Airport had been hit the hardest because it was exclusively supplied by the Marsden Point pipeline.

Refining NZ, which owns the pipeline, said it could take 10 to 15 days to fix, according to a news report by Radio NZ.

A total of 23 global and domestic flights have been cancelled in the last 24 hours, Auckland Airport corporate affairs manager Simon Lambourne told Reuters.

"Aviation is a critical transport industry and the lifeblood for tourism and we are naturally extremely disappointed with this infrastructure failure", Air New Zealand chief operations integrity and standards officer Captain David Morgan said in a statement on Monday. "Our team is now preparing for this work". Contaminated soil had been taken to refinery for treatment.

Even after the repairs are complete, Refining New Zealand said the pipeline would initially operate at 70-80 per cent of full capacity.

A screenshot from the Virgin Australia website highlighting changes to its Auckland services on Monday in response to the fuel shortage.

The New Zealand government, which faces an election on Saturday, came under pressure to intervene amid concerns of a shortage of motor fuel.

The disruption was expected to last for about a week and airlines said they would look at refuelling in other cities domestically, or at Pacific and Australian airports to ensure long-haul services could continue. "We are absolutely sorry to New Zealand and to Auckland that this is happening".

Ms Collins said she had been advised that fuel supplies were now sufficient for Auckland motorists.

Long-haul flights have been advised to refuel at other New Zealand airports or worldwide airports, including in Australia and Fiji, while all flights flying into Auckland have been advised to carry enough fuel for its journey out of the hub, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Z Energy said that nationally, fuel supplies were healthy.

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