Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s new boat, Kaha, is a welcomed addition.
A special ceremony was held at the Harbourside Carpark in Tauranga for the blessing of the boat.
Bay of Plenty Regional Harbourmaster Peter Buell says the new boat is a great addition as it allows more work to be done out on the water.
“Our new vessel is Sealegs, it’s a New Zealand built vessel. It’s going to really give us an increase in capability in terms of operating on our harbour.
The boat is unique in the sense that it can drive on land and water.
“Our harbour dries, one third of it on every tidal cycle, so we’re going to have the ability to get many more places and do many more work that we couldn’t do before. That ranges from navigation aid maintenance right through to our participation in any search and rescue that might be required.
“It’s going to give us a lot more flexibility that we didn’t have before.”
The boat has been built carefully so it is unlikely to be damaged or to damage other vessels.
“In terms of patrols, it’s a soft sided boat, so folks won’t be worries when we come up across them, so that should help us on our patrols as well.”
Peter says he and his team will make good use of the boat in the warmer months. It will be used during winter when there is dangerous weather or emergencies.
“In the summer it will go out every day for about 10 hours a day, in the winter it’s more as required.
“Certainly it will be a weekly, and depending on the weather, maybe more than that. Obviously if we get storms we might be required to go out and do more work after that as well.
“Everybody’s been inducted in it and is really familiar with it now, and it’s really been a great addition.
“Everyone’s really happy that we’ve got it in our fleet.
The land and water vessel will be based in Tauranga, however it can travel on a trailer around the region as required.