Coastguard South Canterbury bids farewell to an old friend to welcome new high-spec boat funded by Lotto NZ 

New rescue vehicle made possible through unique America’s Cup partnership between Coastguard, Lotto and Emirates Team NZ 

Any sadness felt by the volunteer crew of Coastguard South Canterbury at bidding farewell to their rescue boat of the last 20 years will be quickly replaced by the excitement of getting to grips with their new high-tech Coastguard Rescue Vessel (CRV) – one that importantly will enable the crew to perform more night rescues.

Named Timaru Rescue/Waka Ora Te Tihi-O Maru, the new CRV 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. Priority has been given to units identified as having ageing vessels, a limited capacity to fundraise - and in the case of Coastguard South Canterbury, a vast area to look after. 

Coastguard South Canterbury President Nigel Adams says the unit is incredibly grateful to receive this modern vehicle though the unique 4UNZ Lotto partnership, which will allow them to head out on the water at any time thanks to the high-spec fit-out including night vision technology. 

“The new technology will help us on our callouts. We have such an open body of water uninterrupted by islands, so responding to incidents during the night is even more challenging without any navigation points,” he said.

“Our old boat has served us well for these last two decades, but this new boat will really change everything for us. With this new equipment, we’ll be able to do our job more efficiently and help people at all hours which is something we’re stoked about.” 

Coastguard New Zealand CEO Callum Gillespie said an upgrade to South Canterbury’s vessel is long overdue. 

“While the South Canterbury unit is one of the smallest in the South Island, volunteers play a critical role in responding to major incidents across Canterbury. We're delighted that through this partnership, South Canterbury volunteers can enjoy an upgraded vessel that will serve their community well for many years to come."

Lotto NZ Chief Executive, Chris Lyman, says supporting the vital work of Coastguard units like South Canterbury 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 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 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.” 

Background for editors:

  • In partnership with Lotto NZ, 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 over 2,000 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 291,402 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]

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