Improving weather conditions have enabled divers to carry out a preliminary inspection of the Rena on Sunday.
National on-scene commander Rob Service says the divers are preparing for a full underwater survey of the sunken rear section once the sea swells ease over the next couple of days.
The crane barge Smit Borneo has now connected to the sunken aft section of the Rena on its port side.
"Once a detailed underwater survey is complete, the salvage contractors can plan their next steps to recover underwater containers", said Mr Service.
Braemar Howells container recovery team had five vessels along the Bay of Plenty coastline on Sunday.
Rough seas hampered efforts for the Braemar Howells team to recover debris in the White Island area using the crane barge Subritzski and a fast response craft.
Another vessel has been working to recover a container north of Waihi beach.
There was no attempt on Sunday to remove any more containers from the bow of the wreck.