THE salvage team aboard the stricken ship Rena in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty is pumping oil at its fastest rate yet.
In the past 24 hours, 164 tonnes of heavy fuel oil has been pumped from Rena onto the barge Awanuia.
This means 645 tonnes of the 1370 tonnes thought to be left on the ship has been pumped.
Environment Minister Nick Smith said the pumping rate in the past 24 hours was the most in a day since the pumping began.
"It's encouraging, but we are not out of the woods."