Wa­ter sport hol­i­day op­er­a­tion ex­pands

The Leader (Tasman) - - NEWS - By HE­LEN MUR­DOCH

Abel Tas­man Sea Shut­tle will be moor­ing a barge off An­chor­age to use as a base for its kayak and pad­dle­board op­er­a­tion this sum­mer.

The com­pany, which al­ready of­fers kayak hire among its tourist ser­vices, signed the pur­chase of Kai­teri­teri Kayaks and Kai­teri­teri Kayak Pad­dle­board­ing last week. It will take over the busi­ness from Oc­to­ber 1.

ATSS owner Keith Knapp said in­cluded in the pur­chase was a con­ces­sion to launch kayaks and pad­dle­boards from a barge moored in the park.

The com­pany will use a barge it built last year for a dif­fer­ent pur­pose to house 40 kayaks and pad­dle­boards. It will be moored off An­chor­age over sum­mer to act as a stor­age base. The move will save time and fuel and the need to carry as many kayaks and boards into the park on the top of boats, he said.

In win­ter the kayak barge, along with another ATSS barge, will be used for con­tract cartage work around the coast.

Keith said ATSS would run the kayak and pad­dle board busi­ness off Kai­teri­teri Beach year-round to cater for the in­creas­ing flow of in­ter­na­tional tourists, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing win­ter.

‘‘We are look­ing to ex­tend the sea­son into win­ter – a lot of over­seas visi­tors are com­ing to New Zealand over their sum­mer months be­cause that is when they get time off.’’

ATSS’s ex­pan­sion meant the com­pany would em­ploy about 25 staff in peak sum­mer and pos­si­bly up to four dur­ing win­ter, de­pend­ing on kayak de­mand, he said.

The pur­chase has fur­ther widened its range of ex­pe­ri­ences trav­ellers could choose from – in­clud­ing wa­ter taxis, in­de­pen­dent kayak hire, guided kayak trips, guided walks and pad­dle­board hire.

Buy­ing the pad­dle­board com­pany also meant it stayed in lo­cal hands, Keith said.

Photo: MAR­ION VAN DIJK

Barge base: Kayaks and hol­i­day mak­ers at Ap­ple­tree Bay.

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