Wellington Scoop

Three more years for interisland ferry

Media release – InterIslander
Interislander has today announced the decision to renew the lease on Cook Strait ferry Kaitaki for a further three years, keeping her in New Zealand until 2013.

“Kaitaki has been our flagship since her arrival in 2005 and is the largest passenger ferry in New Zealand,” comments Thomas Davis, general manager for Interislander. “This means we keep our most popular Cook Strait ferry for longer, giving us capacity to handle peak demand and cater for the anticipated extra passengers during the Rugby World Cup.”

The ferry has also been playing a vital role in New Zealand’s supply chains. With capacity for up to 60 trucks on each night sailing, and some trucks during daily passenger journeys, Kaitaki has been relied upon to carry time sensitive deliveries between North and South Island such as perishable goods, urgent courier shipments and retail products.

Interislander took out a five year lease on the 1650 passenger, 550 car capacity ferry from European owners in 2005, with an option for a three year extension. The original five year period runs out in June 2010, with the extention meaning Interislander do not have to return the ship to Stena until 30th June 2013. Kaitaki is responsible for employment of up to 180 crew and a number of shore based positions.

“Last summer was the busiest ever for Kaitaki,” adds Thomas Davis. “With the growth in popularity of our Kaitaki Plus luxury lounge and anticipated future demand, we are confident we are making the right move in keeping her with Interislander.”