According to harbour master Grant Nalder, there had been reports of penguins in the spill's area.
The spill happened Monday afternoon, November 25. Initially, there were fears of up to 800 litres being spilled. Earlier, the official estimate was about 400 litres but was reduced on Tuesday, November 26, to fewer than a hundred litres. The diesel had leaked out of shore-based pipework. Nalder added it had ended up on the docks with "quite a bit finding its way to the water.'
A spokesman for Mobil Oil New Zealand said it was the fuel supplier, and the diesel had escaped to the ground and water at Aotea Quay wharf during Radiance of the Seas' refuelling. Emergency response procedures had been activated and completed within 2 hours, he said. There had been no noticeable impact on wildlife.
According to a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman, the cruise company was offering "clean-up assistance" despite it being unrelated to their operations.
Nalder said the diesel had broken up relatively quickly with crews using water to agitate it. The cruise ship's wash further broke up the diesel. Tugs were brought in to help.
Environmental protection staff were at the accident's scene Tuesday morning. There was little sign of the diesel.
People had been asked to look out for penguins affected. At least one was spotted on the spill's outer edge.
For other Radiance of the Seas accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.