MPI’s new fisheries patrol vessel Mātai launched in Napier

The Ministry for Primary Industries has launched a new fisheries patrol vessel in Napier, capable of patrolling from Mahia to Wairarapa.

The 6.5-metre-long hard top Osprey, is an aluminium hulled pontoon style vessel, made in Nelson and powered by twin Mercury 115 HP outboard motors.

A karakia and blessing ceremony for the new Mātai was held at the Napier Sailing Club in April led by mana whenua hapū o Ahuriri, represented by Mōrehu Te Tomo, Chad Tareha and Te Kaha Hawaikirangi.

MPI Regional Fisheries Compliance Manager, Tyrone Robinson says the name of the new vessel is fitting.

“In English, Mātai means “to observe, investigate and examine”. It’s a direct connection to our mahi of protecting our fisheries resources.

Our shared fisheries are important to many communities and this new vessel means we’ll be even more visible. Everyone’s got a part to play in protecting our resources and we encourage people who witness suspicious fishing behaviour to contact us.”

The new vessel will be able to reach waters stretching from Mahia to Palliser Bay in Wairarapa.

“Mātai is a versatile vessel and we’ll be able to patrol and quickly respond to a range of situations at sea. Being able to launch the vessel from the beach means we can be flexible with where we put Mātai in the water.”

Meanwhile, MPI’s long serving vessel Kāhutara, which is around 20 years old is being repurposed by the Customary Fisheries Forum, Mai Paritu tae atu ki Turākirae, to support Tangata Kaitiaki fisheries management efforts.

“We’re really pleased that the Kāhutara which has served us well, will continue to be used for important work by the tangata kaitiaki for sustainable fisheries Management,” Mr Robinson says.

Mai Paritu tae atu ki Turākirae Chairman, Paul Ratapu was at the karakia and says: “MPI’s commitment to ongoing support of Tangata Kaitiaki efforts along our coastline through the Kāhutara vessel is an exemplar for a respectful and productive Crown and tangata whenua relationship.”

MPI reminds all fishers to download the NZ Fishing Rules App for the fishing rules in their area.

If you become aware of any suspicious fishing activity, call us on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email [email protected].

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