Kaiarahi to set sail on the Strait this Spring

12 May 2015 3:03PM

The Interislander Arahura ferry's replacement will go into service this spring, proudly bearing the new name of Kaiarahi.

Kaiarahi, known as the Stena Alegra when she last visited New Zealand, is currently in Singapore undergoing an extensive refit to meet Interislander requirements. Kaiarahi, means ‘leadership’ or ‘to lead’ and its metaphorical meaning is ‘guardian’ or ‘to guide.’ “Kaiarahi not only supports KiwiRail and the Interislanders business vision of leading the way to provide superior logistics and tourism services but it is also a name that reflects our service promise to our customers,” says KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy.

The new name was selected after KiwiRail staff entered a competition and the top suggestions were put forward for consideration by local iwi and KiwiRail’s Maori staff network Te Kupenga Mahi.

Kaiarahi’s upgrades will offer improved onboard amenities, including new passenger lounges and drivers lounge along with the fitting of external stabilisers to ensure a smoother ride, engine and new navigation equipment upgrades and new gangway access. The owner of the vessel, Stena RoRo will manage and pay for the upgrades.  Kaiarahi is a third bigger than Arahura. She will be able to carry close to the same amount of freight in two return sailings as the Arahura can in three. 

“The new vessel will increase our overall freight and passenger capacity on a critical link for the country. Interislander is an extension of the main trunk line and State Highway One across Cook Strait and vital for our economy. Her capacity gives us big efficiency gains and future proofs our fleet for increased customer demand.”

KiwiRail will charter Kaiarahi rather than purchase her, as is currently the case with Kaitaki.

The new ferry is expected to be in service from early September.

ENDS

Issued by KiwiRail, For more information contact: Julie Buchanan 0274 359464