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Aratere update

11 November 2011

Further trials carried out this morning have confirmed the reliability and stability of the Aratere's engines and propulsion systems, Interislander general manager Thomas Davis said.

He said the tests, carried out under observation by classification society Det Norske Veritas, meant that the Cook Strait ferry could resume passenger services. This was confirmed by Maritime New Zealand this afternoon. Aratere's first passenger sailing will be the 1405 service on Monday 14 November 2011.

Mr Davis said passenger services would resume on Aratere on Monday so that disruption to customers and staff was minimised. Many staff who would normally work on Aratere had been transferred to Arahura during the disruption, and time is needed to re-introduce Aratere to its usual timetable.

This has been a difficult time for Interislander. I apologise to all our customers who have been inconvenienced by the disruptions over the past 10 days.

Aratere sailings were cancelled from 1 November after an incident with the ship's propulsion system during an evening sailing from Picton. Freight-only sailings resumed on 4 November.

Interislander's other ferries, Arahura and Kaitaki, have been operating as normal.

Mr Davis apologised to customers for the disruption, but said that safety is paramount for Interislander.

Interislander takes a precautionary approach, and our customers can have confidence that they are in good hands.

For further information please contact:
Cathie Bell, KiwiRail
04 498 3383 or 021 804 906