Fisheries pa­trol ves­sel blessed

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - TIM O’CON­NELL

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.

PHOTO: FAIR­FAX NZ

Nel­son Marl­bor­ough MPI fisheries chief com­pli­ance of­fi­cer An­thony Lit­tle, with the new pa­trol ves­sel Kiwa in the back­ground.

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