But quibbles after the fact do not alter the impression that after a slow start, the response has been effective. If the Rena has been our worst maritime environmental disaster, it could have been much worse.
But I quibble over one aspect:
That plan, as far as it goes, was strikingly successful this time. Though countless seabirds perished from the slick, the beaches were cleaned so quickly and efficiently that they were safe for swimming, fishing and other activities before Christmas.
Countless? They have in fact been counted and it is around 2,000.
Incidentally possums and other predators kill around 500,000 birds a week in New Zealand. They just do it without cameras around generally!