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NZ: residents warned off beach after broken ship spills its cargo

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NZ: residents warned off beach after broken ship spills its cargo

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As goods from the Rena cargo ship wash onto New Zealand beaches, police have closed parts of the seashore to prevent people collecting the items.

Sacks of milk powder litter the beaches having been washed up from the wreckage, while some of the ship’s containers held meat and wine. But as well as shutting the area down, officials are also warning people not to collect any debris they find.

The Rena ran aground in early October, causing New Zealand’s worst environmental maritime disaster. It is estimated that as many as 20,000 seabirds may have died because of the oil spill.

Many of the containers could not be recovered before the vessel was broken apart by rough conditions in the sea and any further attempts will have to wait until the sea is calmer.