A new multi-purpose vessel was added to Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s maritime fleet today after being christened by local kaumatua Reon Tuanau at a special ceremony.
Awanui was acquired in response to recent high profile oil spills in the Bay of Plenty region.
Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster Peter Buell said that although oil spill response was the focus of the build, it was important the vessel was able to be used for other activities carried out by the Regional Council’s Maritime Team.
“Thankfully oil spills are not a common event in the harbour so the vessel has been designed to be multi-purpose,” Mr Buell said. “It can perform tasks such as routine navigational aid maintenance and removing navigational hazards from the harbour, as well as general patrolling and other tasks.
“Across Tauranga Harbour there are more than 400 navigation aids to guide people safely through the shallow body of water. As you would expect they need regular maintenance to ensure they are doing their job, and it’s work we couldn’t effectively accomplish with the vessels we had. We will now be able to respond more quickly and efficiently.”
Awanui will be based in Tauranga but will serve the wider Bay of Plenty region as required.
Regional Council’s Long Term Plan commits the maritime team to ensuring 24/7 navigation safety and maritime oil spill response is provided in the Bay of Plenty region. Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s goal is to ensure that all harbour, lake and river users operate safely and in harmony with one another and the environment, to ensure the region’s waters are available for all to enjoy.
Awanui is an 11.25 metre multi-role vessel capable of:
- Rapid deployment of specialist oil recovery and containment equipment
- Carrying out routine maintenance and repairs of the navigational aids of the Tauranga Harbour
- Recovering debris from the water
- Carrying loads of up to 7000kg
She has a draft of less than a metre, which allows access to the wider reaches of Tauranga Harbour.