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North Kaipara community to share in win as new Lotto-funded Coastguard boat arrives

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New rescue boat one of 26 refitted America’s Cup chase boats returning to the water to keep Kiwi boaties safe thanks to a unique partnership between Lotto NZ, Coastguard and Emirates Team New Zealand and $9.8 million of lottery funding.

With 900 km2 of often challenging harbour under their watch, the volunteer crew of Coastguard North Kaipara have no easy task when it comes to keeping local boaties and fishing vessels safe on the water. But their ability to look out for their extended community has been enhanced significantly with the arrival, yesterday, of their own brand new rescue boat - and they have millions of Lotto-playing Kiwis around the country to thank for it.

North Kaipara’s new Coastguard Rescue Vessel (CRV) is one of 26 high-spec craft that were first used as chase boats at this year’s America’s Cup. Now, courtesy of a $9.8 mllion lottery grant made possible by the millions of Kiwis who play Lotto NZ games each year, the boats have been reskinned and refitted for Coastguard units across the country that have been identified as having ageing vessels and limited capacity to fundraise.

North Kaipara is the second Coastguard unit to receive its new boat through this unique partnership between Lotto NZ, Coastguard and Emirates Team New Zealand - and Coastguard CEO Callum Gillespie says that a new vessel is well overdue for this deserving unit.

"This will be the first vessel the Coastguard North Kaipara unit will own themselves - having had their current vessel on loan from Coastguard New Zealand for some time. The new vessel gives the unit a higher level bar-crossing capability they have not had before and for Coastguard's ability to service the one of the largest harbours in the world, this is a real step in the right direction. It's also fantastic to acknowledge that North Kaipara's old vessel will be gifted forward to the Nga Waka Federation to support the group's aim to preserve the traditions associated with kaupapa waka."

Lotto NZ Chief Executive, Chris Lyman, says supporting the vital work of Coastguard units like North Kaipara is what Lotto is all about.

"Lotto NZ exists to generate essential funding for New Zealand communities - it’s why we do what we do. The positive impact these high-spec vessels will have on communities around the country cannot be underestimated, with each one helping Coastguard save countless lives at sea each year. This is a great example of how Lotto NZ is all about Kiwis helping Kiwis. "

The refitting of the boat from America’s Cup supporter to lifesaver was taken care of by original manufacturer, Rayglass. Vital new additions include stainless steel framework and the full suite of accessories required by a Coastguard rescue vessel, such as flare cameras, loudhailers, flashing lights, radars and cabinetry for pelican boxes, stretchers and first aid kits.

The boats may have now lost their America’s Cup branding, but Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, Grant Dalton, says their involvement in this unique partnership remains a source of pride for the whole team.

"Coastguard are the unsung heroes of our waters around the country and so it’s great to see the fleet of vessels that supported us freshly refitted and taking to the water again to help them save lives."

Coastguard North Kaipara’s James Foster says taking delivery of their new CRV is a hugely exciting new chapter for the unit, which as recently as 2014 was operating as the North Kaipara Volunteer Coastguard Air Sea Rescue Inc., responding to distress calls in what he calls "vessels of opportunity" (aka their own boats!). Furthermore, this excitement is shared by the wider community, who have dug deep through a range of charity initiatives to help fund alterations to the boat’s new home at Tinopai, and a new tractor to get it in and out of the water.

"Probably the key role that Coastguard North Kaipara plays is to provide a feeling of security not just for those that use the harbour, including both commercial and recreational fishers, but their friends and family too," says James.

"We’re a great example of Kiwis helping Kiwis ourselves, which makes this partnership between Lotto NZ, Emirates Team New Zealand and ourselves so special."

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