New Lotto-funded Coastguard Rescue Vessel Big Win for Coromandel Boaties
Written by John Grant on February 18, 2022
High-spec addition to Coastguard Whitianga fleet made possible by unique partnership with Lotto NZ and Emirates Team NZ.
Crew from Coastguard Whitianga have set sail this morning from Auckland, bringing home a brand-new Coastguard Rescue Vessel (CRV) that will play a vital role in keeping boaties safe along the Coromandel’s eastern coastline.
Named Takareto, Whitianga’s 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 Whitianga, a vast and challenging body of water to look after.
Coastguard Whitianga President, Stuart Brown, who is part of the crew sailing Takareto from Auckland, says the unit is incredibly grateful to have received such a modern vessel through the partnership as it will allow them to manage multiple incidents at the same time and respond safely and faster in difficult conditions.
“We look after a huge body of water here, from the top of the Coromandel down to Hot Water Beach and it’s a massive undertaking for the team, especially as we notice ourselves being on the water more and getting call-outs further afield.”
“This new boat means we can respond in a timely manner, which ultimately helps more people even on our busiest days and that is really priceless.”
Coastguard CEO Callum Gillespie said it’s hard to go past a more well-deserving unit than Whitianga, which always serves its community with pride and distinction and has a clear focus on building a positive culture for new talent.
“For the last two years, the unit has received the Coastguard Community Engagement Unit of the Year award, where volunteers introduce teenage students to the world of leadership, self-discipline, responsibility and health and safety on the water and in the workplace. Over 12 weeks, the teens from the local school receive insight into how Coastguard works from the radio operators, wet crew, and Incident Management Team,” he said.
With such a large stretch of water to cover, Mr Gillespie explained that Coastguard Whitianga is also one of the busiest units in New Zealand.
“When there is an incident on the isolated upper eastern coast of the Coromandel, it’s vital our volunteers can quickly get to the location and support those in need. With this new CRV, Coastguard Whitianga can continue their tremendous work up and down the coast as well as better support neighbouring units that operate along the Coromandel.”
Lotto NZ Chief Executive, Chris Lyman, says supporting the vital work of Coastguard units like Whitianga 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 lifesavers 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.”
The name Takareto was chosen in consultation with local iwi, Ngāti Hei. Takareto was the bird whose shrill call signaled safe passage across the seas.
The arrival of the new boat means Coastguard Whitianga can now call on three boats to respond to callouts. The unit is planning to host an open day later in the year for locals to see the boats and to understand more about water safety and the role of Coastguard.
- In partnership with 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.