Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today formally gifted Tokelau with a new vessel to serve as a small passenger ferry between the country’s three atolls.
“The new inter-atoll vessel will serve as the country’s first purpose-built emergency response vessel as well as a small passenger ferry, enabling Tokelauans to travel safely and efficiently between the atolls Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo,” Mr Peters said.
“Reliable, efficient transportation between Tokelau’s atolls is vital – both in terms of having an emergency response capability and to allow Tokelauans safe international travel.
“Features on the new vessel include a reclining first aid bed for transport of a sick or injured person, and the latest safety equipment and electronics including long range radio which operates under global maritime distress and safety systems.”
The vessel, named Fetu o te Moana, or Star of the Sea, was formally gifted today to Te Ulu o Tokelau (Tokelau’s head of government) by Mr Peters at a ceremony in Lyttelton, also attended by the Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi following his recent trip to Tokelau, and Administrator of Tokelau Ross Ardern.
“Today’s event represents more than a year of collaboration between maritime experts in Tokelau and New Zealand, and reflects the developing maritime capacity in Tokelau,” Mr Peters said.
“It also reflects the spirit of collaboration as we pursue the shared goal of keeping our people safe at sea.”
The New Zealand Aid Programme funded $860,000 boat was provided through the Pacific Maritime Safety Programme.