New tug Taiaroa shows off its manoeuvering skills,
pirouetting 540deg and briefly reversing (pictured) on its
way into Otago Harbour yesterday, near Taiaroa Head. Photo
by Gerard O'Brien.
Port Otago's new workhorse tug Taiaroa
Port Chalmers yesterday, following a 40-day delivery voyage
Taiaroa, which had to divert to Lyttelton for a week
for minor engine repairs on its way from Vietnam, passed
Taiaroa Head about 1.30pm yesterday and was berthed at Port
Chalmers about an hour later.
The $11 million, 24.5m long, 250-tonne Taiaroa was
built in Da Nang by Netherlands company Damen and is the
fourth of its type now operating in New Zealand.
Taiaroa was met at the heads by its elderly
predecessor, 40-year-old tug Rangi, pilot vessel
Potiki and 11-year-old tug Otago.
The tug was formally greeted in the harbour by Taiaroa
descendants and runanga members on tourist charter vessel
Port Otago senior pilot Hugh Marshall completed the Lyttelton
to Port Chalmers delivery leg, saying Taiaroa had
handled 4m swells and 50-knot winds off Banks Peninsula
''without a problem''.
Once berthed, Taiaroa was host to more than 30 guests,
Mr Marshall said.
Representing the Taiaroa whanau were Matenga Taiaroa, Anne
Robertson, Eleanor Murphy, and Edward Ellison, all Te Runanga
o Otakou; and David Ellison, Kati Huirapa Runaka ki
Also present from Te Runanga o Otakou were Paul Karaitiana,
Natalie Karaitiana and Peter Asher.
Port Otago chief executive Geoff Plunket said aside from the
Lyttelton dry-docking for minor engine repairs, and a paint
touch-up, the 40-day voyage went as planned.
He said Taiaroa now had to be registered to operate in
New Zealand, then several staff trained in its operation
before the two-person tug went into service, which was
expected within a few weeks.