April 09, 2019
Fast cat for White Island-Whakaari tours
A Ngāti Awa tourism business has bought a new purpose-built vessel for tours to New Zealand’s most active marine volcano.
Ngāti Awa Group Holdings chair Paul Quinn says the purchase of Te Puia Whakaari will enhance the tours and support the holistic wellbeing of Ngāti Awa.
The 19 metre bespoke hydro foiling 19 metre catamaran will allow White Island Tours to reduce cancellations from unsuitable sea conditions between Whakatāne and the island 49km offshore.
Designed by Teknicraft in Auckland and constructed by Q-West in Whanganui, the new boat offers indoor seating for 49 passengers, an expansive upper-viewing deck, state of the art stabilisation technology and a cruising speed of 27-30 knots.
Ngāti Awa artists Lawrence Hohua and Takutaimoana Harawira were commissioned to develop a design concept for the new vessel that incorporated traditional narratives and artistic principles.
The hull features two manu representing Takeretou and Mumuhou; the avian guardians who guided Mataatua waka to Whakatāne.
The design on the rear upper deck pays homage to Te Tahi o Te Rangi, a powerful and revered tohunga of Ngāti Awa.
An official welcome for Te Puia Whakaari willl be held tomorrow at Te Mānuka Tūtahi, Whakatāne.
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