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Following the Rena grounding and oil spill in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, an Incident Command Centre was established which, among other tasks, coordinated a volunteer clean-up effort. We interviewed volunteers and organisers to gain insight into the efficacy of the volunteer coordination effort. Volunteers praised the system of communication and the involvement of indigenous groups. They expressed a desire for better training, more flexibility and community autonomy, a quicker uptake of volunteer support, and the use of social media. Locating the Incident Command Centre in a single site aided interaction between experts, and the sharing of resources. Overall, the volunteer coordination was considered a success.