Media release

Kaitiaki: Name of Harbourmaster’s New Boat Revealed

Tuesday 21 May 2019

“Kaitiaki” was revealed today as the name chosen for the Harbourmaster’s new boat. The reveal was part of a naming ceremony at Back Beach, with councillors and stakeholders in attendance.

Kaitiaki means guardian or caretaker. The name was selected from over 100 community suggestions by the Otago Regional Council (ORC) and local iwi.

Ōtākou Rūnaka representative Tahu Potiki said, “From our perspective the name is appropriate. The Harbourmaster is responsible for safety of navigation and has a serious care and protection role to ensure the operations on the harbour consider the safety of all, and that everyone gets home safe and sound. That is a kaitiaki role.”

ORC Harbourmaster Steve Rushbrook said he was pleased with the name and the meaning it attached to the new boat.

“Kaitiaki was a popular suggestion, and one that we thought represented our guardianship role in Otago’s navigable waters really well.”

Mr Rushbrook said the seven-metre hardtop boat, made locally by McLay Boats in Milton, would add a more active dimension to the Harbourmaster role.               

“My focus is on making sure our waters are safe for everyone to enjoy. I’m really looking forward to getting afloat and being able to have a better presence in the boating community,” said Mr Rushbrook.

The new boat’s delivery follows the Otago Regional Council Navigational Safety Bylaw 2019 taking effect on 1 May. The bylaw covers maritime safety in almost all inland waters and all coastal waters out to the limit of the territorial sea of Otago.

The ORC is responsible for the regulation of ports, harbours, waters, and maritime-related activities in the Otago region under the Maritime Transport Act (1994). Our harbourmaster’s duties include overseeing maritime safety, ensuring navigational aids are in place and maintained, responding to marine oil spill events, to name a few.

To find out more information about the Harbourmaster’s role and navigational safety in Otago, visit