Groundbreaking ceremony held for new Kaipara Marine Rescue Centre

It was a dark, cool and windy morning in Parakai, but the future for Coastguard Kaipara looks bright with a groundbreaking blessing and ceremony at the site of its new Kaipara Marine Rescue Centre. 

Led by local iwi Ngāti Whatua ki Kaipara, the whakanoa te whenua (to bless the soil/land) ceremony represents a significant step for search and rescue in the region. The dawn ceremony was attended by a wide range of dignitaries from the community including Ngāti Whatua ki Kaipara, local board members, Auckland Council staff as well as the unit’s volunteers, sponsors and consultants, Coastguard New Zealand CEO Callum Gillespie and CNZ staff. 

Coastguard Kaipara’s current home, along Mill Road, has served the unit well over many years, but is limited from a functional and operational perspective. President Iain Guilford said the new build at Parakai, next to a new all tide ramp and wharf is perfect and acknowledged the extremely generous lease terms from Auckland Council with full support from Ngāti Whatua ki Kaipara. 

“We wouldn’t be here without the generous contributions and funding from our main sponsors Winstone Aggregates and Atlas Concrete as well as the Auckland Volunteer Coastguard Charitable Trust, Foundation North, Coastguard New Zealand, Lions Club of Helensville and our private donors. Thanks for your investment in search and rescue in Kaipara – this build is a true gamechanger for our volunteers,” he said. 

“I’d also like to recognise the hard work and commitment of our architects Congo Design and our other building designers and consultants. We’re delighted with where we’ve landed, and we can’t wait for the build to commence.” 

The location at the end of Springs Road offers Coastguard Kaipara the ability to respond quicker than the unit can currently offer, being significantly closer to the mouth of the Kaipara River. It also removes the difficulty of low tide launching and retrieval.  

Construction of the Kaipara Marine Rescue Centre will begin shortly and is expected to be completed by December this year. The unit is still seeking funding from sponsors for the build, if you’d like more information, please contact Vice President Greg Skinner at 027 674 2762 or [email protected]    

Note: Coastguard Kaipara operates on the Southern Hemisphere's largest harbour. On call 24/7, Winstone Rescue and its volunteer crew cover not only the Kaipara Harbour but from as far north as the Hokianga down to Manukau and out to the 12 Mile Limit. Across 2021-22, Coastguard Kaipara responded to 11 calls for help, bringing 33 people home safely. 

*Photos generously supplied by Matthew King, a volunteer for Coastguard Kaipara, Auckland Coastguard Air Patrol and Communications North.

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