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Oil spill exercise: Northland Region

In April 2015, Wildbase Oil Response Research Officer, Graeme Finlayson, attended a field exercise in Whangarei, Northland. The exercise was conducted to test the Northland Oil Spill Team with a full field deployment, including re-validation of about 20 personnel. The exercise provided the opportunity for Northland Regional Council’s wildlife representative Katrina Hansen to deliver a short presentation about the principles of wildlife response. The presentation included an overview of the notification process for activating the wildlife team during an oil spill, an outline of what equipment and facilities are available in the region and a background to the planning and response options that may be considered during an oiled wildlife response. The team were also able to conduct an audit of the region’s blue box. Katrina and Graeme also visited the Whangarei racecourse and the Marsden Point Refinery, both of which are identified in the regional plan as appropriate sites for an oiled wildlife facility.