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The New Zealand-born creator and presenter of The Amazing Race, Phil Keoghan, was back in his home country during the weekend to help clean up beaches affected by a massive oil spill.

The disaster occurred 19 days ago when a cargo ship ran aground off the coast of Tauranga in the North Island, spilling around 360 tones of oil into the ocean.

Phil spent some time with locals along the beach of Mt Maunganui, cleaning up what has become a major ecological disaster in the country.

“I’m definitely walking away with a greater perspective of what these beaches mean to the people here, particularly as a source of food,” he said. “It’s a situation that was avoidable, and that’s the hard part.”

Earlier this year, Keoghan was in New Zealand to raise awareness of the Christchurch earthquake, which killed over 180 people and left thousands homeless.

“With the earthquake story, I wanted to show that Christchurch was still open for business,” he said. “With this, I’d like to show that New Zealand is still open for business.”

“It’s just one small spot of the country that has an issue, and hopefully people won’t cancel their trip to New Zealand.”

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