Fisheries patrol vessel blessed
The gaze of fisheries compliance in the top of the south just got harder to avoid.
Ministry for Primary Industries fisheries officers have welcomed a faster, sleeker, more advanced patrol vessel to the fold – one that eliminated the need to go back to base to refuel or to carry fuel on board.
The Kiwa was formally unveiled last week in a blessing ceremony at MPI’s Port Nelson offices, conferred by kaumatua Archdeacon Andy Joseph.
Nelson/Marlborough Chief Compliance Officer Anthony Little says the purpose-built vessel had taken about fivemonths to build and allowed officers to go further without interruption.
The 7.5 metre Naiad craft was built in Picton by Tory Channel Contracting and was capable of a top speed of 45 knots (83km/h).
With 400 litre fuel capacity and with two 200 horse-power motors, patrols will not need to keep returning home to refuel which would make a big difference in maintaining watches over suspect activity.
As well as being fitted with the latest electronics the Kiwa also has an on-board toilet, closed cabin and fresh water facility which Anthony says would be useful for longer patrols of up to eight hours.
While consultation with top of the south kaumatua had provided several possible names for the vessel, Kiwa – Meaning ‘God of all Fish or divine ocean guardian’ in Maori – seemed to best capture the purpose of the boat. The Kiwa was a timely upgrade after the previous vessel’s 15 years of service finally took its toll.
Officers in the Challenger fishing area, between Farewell Spit and the Marlborough Sounds, undertook a minimum of three winter patrols each week.
Nelson Marlborough MPI fisheries chief compliance officer Anthony Little, with the new patrol vessel Kiwa in the background.