Queenstown’s new Lotto-funded CRV christened in special naming ceremony
Haki te kura had been gifted in December through unique America’s Cup partnership between Coastguard, Lotto NZ and Emirates Team NZ
In naming its new rescue boat, Coastguard Queenstown has drawn inspiration from the past to continue its proud legacy of keeping the community safe on the water.
According to legend, Haki te Kura was the first to swim across Lake Wakatipu – and following an intimate ceremony at the Frankton Marina on Friday 28th April, with Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult among those attending, it is her name that now adorns the boat that patrols it.
The new rescue vessel is one of 26 high-spec AC36 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.
Coastguard Queenstown President Andy McLeod says the arrival of Haki te kura was incredibly timely given the increasingly limited capacity of the boat it’s replaced.
“She’s twice as fast and twice as large as our former vessel, which means that we are able to respond with speed and ultimately save lives. We’re so grateful that this partnership has enabled us to be better equipped to deal with our specific challenges here.”
Coastguard Queenstown are also extremely grateful for the long-term support from Queenstown Airport, the unit’s major sponsor. Over a number of years, Queenstown Airport has worked closely with Coastguard Queenstown and their financial backing has been vital for elements like training and the launch of Haki te Kura.
(L to R) Queenstown Coastguard's Andy McLeod, QLDC Mayor Jim Boult and Queenstown Airport CEO Glen Sowry.
Coastguard CEO Callum Gillespie said the new boat is also timely as the area prepares to welcome back more tourists as the border re-opens.
"Tourism plays a massive role down in Queenstown, which means the local unit can be busy throughout the year across the lakes. With this new vessel, the volunteers can continue to grow the unit in the community and will be in a better position to respond to emergencies across the region."
Lotto NZ Chief Executive, Chris Lyman, says supporting the vital work of Coastguard units like Queenstown 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 the 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 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.
- 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:
Coastguard New Zealand Senior Communications Advisor