The Department of Conservation has proudly launched the latest addition to its fleet of working boats, the ‘Matuku’. Kaumatua Sid Kingi blessed the new boat last week at Doves Bay, wishing her and her crews safe passage in their work around the Bay of Islands.
Kaumatua Sid Kingi blesses the ‘Matuku’ with DOC’s Bay of Islands Area Manager Rolien Elliot and Biodiversity Assets Manager Adrian Walker
Kaumatua Hugh Rihari spoke of the benefits for conservation work in the Bay and that although the old ‘Circa’ had served well for nearly 20 years, it was certainly showing its age, and that the new ‘Matuku’ (Reef Heron) looked very smart.
Designed by Alan Walker of Paihia, and built by Perrin Clark of Northern Spars and Rigging in Opua, this is entirely a Bay of Islands boat.
“For a small boat, ‘Matuku’ offers a good working deck, a relatively dry ride, and the ability to handle effectively under a range of sea conditions,” said Project Manager Katrina Upperton. There are some custom-built features, such as a bow staple, which will make rock landings safer and easier.
“Boats are essential for work in marine and island conservation management in the Bay,” said Area Manager, Rolien Elliot, and noted there were no rod holders fitted.