Taiaroa launched

Taiaroa making its way into the harbour.

Taiaroa making its way into the harbour.

A few weeks ago, members of the Taiaroa whānau and Te Rūnanga ō Ōtākou welcomed Port Otago’s new tug Taiaroa, as it entered Otago Harbour for the first time.

Officially launched at a ceremony at Port Chalmers on August 5, the $11 million tug joins the port’s other tugs Karetai and Rangi. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Ōtākou representative Tahu Pōtiki gave a brief history of the life and times of Chief Taiaroa, the tug’s namesake – and his first cousin, Chief Karetai, after whom Port Otago’s 40-year-old tug is named. Representatives of the Taiaroa whānau and rūnanga presented Port Otago with framed prints of Matenga Taiaroa and Karetai’s tamoko.

Taiaroa arrived in Dunedin in July following a 38-day delivery from Da Nang in Vietnam, where it was built by Dutch tug specialist, Damen. A Damen employee is staying in Port Clamers to train up to five people in the operation of the two-person tug.