Tug Arihi blessed

by Hans | November 11th, 2016

Port Otago’s new $7 million tug Arihi was formally blessed and dedicated yesterday at Port Chalmers, with guests including descendants of Treaty of Waitangi signatory Chief Karetai.

The more than 200-tonne, 18.7m long Arihi was built in Turkey and arrived at Port Chalmers in August as deck cargo. While working alongside the larger tugs Otago and Taiaroa, its main duties will initially be barge towing during channel deepening operations.

Otakou runanga representative Edward Ellison  told the almost 100 guests and port staff the name Arihi honoured Aunty Alice Karetai, born in 1862, the granddaughter of Chief Karetai, and who later became a prominent hapu elder herself.

Born on Otago Peninsula, Aunty Alice went on to live at the northern end of Te Rauone Beach on the peninsula’s harbour side in one of the first houses built there in the early 1900s, until her death, in her 95th year, in 1957.

Shortly after Aunty Alice’s birth, the vessel SS Victory ran aground on what was later named Victory Beach.  The Kaik (Otakou) people took in the crew and Captain Togood  was looked after by Timoti Karetai, whose wife Hariata had a newborn  girl. The captain suggested the baby be called Alice, after Queen Victoria’s daughter.

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