Coastguard Wānaka Lakes welcomes new vessel and rescue centre

Coastguard Wānaka Lakes’ new Marine Rescue Centre to host special blessing ceremony for Waiariki Rescue, its new Lotto-funded Coastguard Rescue Vessel (CRV). CRVs made possible through unique America’s Cup partnership between Coastguard, Lotto NZ and Emirates Team NZ. 

On Sunday, Coastguard Wānaka Lakes volunteers will welcome and give thanks for their special, high-tech new rescue vessel and custom-built truck and trailer system. 

Gifted the name ‘Waiariki Rescue’ by Te Rūnanga o Moeraki (after the original name for Stevensons Arm), the new twin-engine 9m vessel is one of 26 high-spec craft that were first used as chase boats at last year’s America’s Cup. Through a unique partnership between Lotto NZ, Coastguard and Emirates Team New Zealand, and a $9.8 million lottery grant made possible by the millions of Kiwis who play Lotto NZ games each year, these boats have been reskinned and refitted for Coastguard units across the country.

(Greg, David and Alistair from Coastguard Wānaka Lakes departing Auckland with their new CRV and truck in late October.)

Wānaka Lakes has been one of the lucky recipients - and uniquely theirs comes complete with a custom-built FUSO Canter 7164 four-wheel-drive from Keith Andrews Trucks. Together, the new equipment massively enhances the unit’s mobility, enabling them to support search and rescue operations in challenging environments around the Central Otago region. 

Since the first vessel launch on Great Barrier Island a year ago, the new fleet has been putting in the mahi across Aotearoa. Since November 2021, the new boats have responded to 170 incidents, assisted 417 people, rescued 12 people and even saved the life of one person. 

Coastguard Wānaka Lakes President Jonathan Walmisley says Waiariki Rescue has a number of advantages over its current Naiad rescue craft which has served the local community well over many years. 

"As well as providing quicker response times, Waiariki Rescue will enable volunteers to be out on the water for longer periods of time and the ability to operate in the sometimes rough and changeable conditions they face out on the region’s lakes,” he says. 

“With a new Marine Rescue Centre, truck, trailer and vessel, we are grateful for the overwhelming national and local community support which will allow the unit to go from strength to strength in the future.” 

Coastguard New Zealand CEO Callum Gillespie says Coastguard Wānaka Lakes is active across the southern region, often travelling between lakes to support different taskings like they did at the Lake Ohau fire in 2020. 

“With their new custom-built FUSO Canter 7164 four-wheel-drive from Keith Andrews Trucks, the unit’s mobility is greatly enhanced, enabling them to respond quickly and effectively wherever needed,” he says. 

Across 2021/22, Coastguard Wānaka Lakes volunteers contributed 2,680 total hours – responding to 15 incidents and assisting 30 people home safely. 

Lotto NZ Chief Executive, Chris Lyman, says supporting the vital work of Coastguard is what Lotto NZ 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 lives at sea each year. This is a great example of how Lotto NZ is all about Kiwis helping Kiwis."

The refitting of the boats from America’s Cup supporters to CRVs has been taken care of by original manufacturer, Rayglass, with the support of Coastguard New Zealand, individual units and various community providers 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.”

Notes for editors 

  • Media are welcome to attend the November 27 event at the Wānaka Marine Rescue Centre: please email [email protected] for more information. 


  • In partnership with Coastguard and Emirates Team New Zealand, a $9.8 million lottery grant funded 26 vessels to be used during the 36th America’s Cup, before they went on to become part of Coastguard’s fleet of rescue vessels. 
  • 100% of Lotto New Zealand's profits are distributed back to the Lottery Grants Board, providing a major source of funding for sport and recreation, arts and culture, environment and heritage and community projects throughout the country.

About Coastguard 

  • Coastguard is a charity powered by 1,963 volunteers in communities around New Zealand. 
  • Coastguard receives 30% of its funding from central government. The other $18 million is raised each year through the support of members, donors, funders and corporate partners. 
  • Last year Coastguard volunteers gave 261,000 hours to keeping New Zealanders safe on the water. 
  • Volunteer crew on rescue vessels, in our search aircraft and on the end of the radio have been dedicated to saving lives for over 150 years. 


For more information, contact:
Ben Parsons
Coastguard New Zealand Senior Communications Advisor
[email protected]

Thanks to our life-saving partners:
  • Auckland Council
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hutchwilco
  • Marine Deals
  • Tower
  • Kordia
  • Hyundai
  • Line7
  • Century Batteries
  • Half Moon Bay
  • NZCT
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity