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Coastguard Waihi Beach have of-

ficially welcome its newest ves-

sel, the $197,000 purpose-built 

AVOCO Rescue, to the fleet.

The purpose-built 5.8m rescue 

vessel is a result of a partner-

ship between AVOCO, TECT, The 

Lion Foundation, First Sovereign 

Trust, Valder Ohinemuri Trust 

and the Western Bay of Plenty 

Coastguard unit, has been out on 

the water already this summer

 AVOCO have pledged an an-

nual sponsorship contribution of 

$20,000 for three years which will 

go towards Coastguard’s yearly 

operational costs as well as the 

running costs of AVOCO Rescue.

“External funding is para-

mount to our success. 

The $197,000 vessel is a 5.8m 

Naiad designed RHIB (rigid hull 

inflatable boat), powered by 

twin 115hp Yamaha outboards.

It was commissioned to replace 

Search Two, a 5.5m long vessel, 

which since being launched in 2003 

clocked up more than 1000 hours 

on the water, and joins Coastguard’s 

primary vessel Gallagher Rescue, a 

9.5m Naiad powered by twin 250hp 

Yamaha four stroke outboards.

The fleet expansion means Coast-

guard now has the capability to 

cover two completely different 

areas, with Gallagher Rescue over-

seeing the Bowentown Bar, one 

of the most notorious in New Zea-

land, and AVOCO Rescue covering 

the channels and shallow areas of 

the Northern Tauranga Harbour.

VHF Marine radios are an important 

part of any Kiwi boaties safety plan.

As Coastguard & various other 

Government agencies push for 

those people heading on the 

water to always have an alter-

native to our trusty cell phone.

Various Coastguard groups around 

the country provide listening/

scanning coverage on the VHF Ma-

rine channels for both Sea & Lake 

areas in order to offer the sup-

port to those using Ships/Boats/

Yachts/Jet skis/Canoes/kayaks etc.

From 1st October last year, many 

Coastguard information and Weath-

er channel numbers changed.

This re-classification was done in or-

der to align to the new 4 digit chan-

nel number system that is being 

introduced worldwide progressively.

In future we will have to add 20 

before our standard 2 numbers.

However – Channel 16 remains 

as the Marine Distress Channel.   

A wide range of different 

VHF Marine models are avail-

able in NZ – including both hand-

held & in-boat/base models;

The major difference between the 

various handheld models – (bat-

tery powered – which need charg-

ing regularly), is the transmit power 

which effects the distance that con-

versations can be carried/heard over.

From 2.5 watts through 5 to 

now 6 watt models available 

– some with GPS positioning.

As some boaties say – ‘there is 

no substitute for horse power’ 

when getting the signal out 

in an emergency situation.

Some of these handheld ra-

dios also have cig lead charg-

ing in the event of the radio run-

ning out of power while out.

In-boat radios (normally 25 

watts transmit power) rely on 

the boats battery power to 

push the signal out further.

This transmit distance is very de-

pendent on the aerial that is being 

used to push the signal out, as most 

small boats are close to the water 

line – as opposed to Ships & Launch-

es that are higher off the water line.

Aerials should be checked regu-

larly & some form of protec-

tion sprayed over the connec-

tions/plugs to prevent corrosion.

Suggest make this part of your regular 

seasonal checks as it is often too late 

to find out when out on the water!!

Many boaties have a combination of 

in-boat & handheld radios to keep 

in touch when they are in a ‘ship to 

shore’ situation plus checking the 

weather forecast on the handheld 

before heading out on the water.

A number of new radios on the NZ 

market also have the DSC – (Digital Se-

lective Calling) button for emergency 

use (that is not yet monitored in NZ).

Let’s hope that this interna-

tional system is soon adopt-

ed & monitored in NZ??

These VHF Marine radios are on 

totally different channels to the 

Land Based UHF or AM CB models.

While many people take them 

out around or on the water – 

they won’t be able to contact 

Coastguard in the event of an 

emergency at sea/on the lake.

It is important to understand the 

differences & also to liaise with your 

buddies prior to going out as to what 

type of radios that they are using if you 

plan to be in touch with each other. 

The main focus is for safe & happy boat-

ing around this great country of ours.

Helpful websites for reference;

- coastguard.co.nz - to find out the 

channels used in your local area.

- maritimenz.govt.nz - to 

find out more about the VHF 

Marine channel changes

Safer boating with Blulink

Waihi Beach’s new rescue boat

Coastguard Waihi Beach’s new vessel AVOCO Rescue on the water. Photo credit – Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media

The Kontiki Transport System came 

about through a need for some-

thing that would go down nar-

row tracks and climb reasonable 

slopes and stairs to enable the gear 

to get onto the beach in one go. 

The design ethos was also 

that everything was a one per-

son operation, enabling all the 

gear to be transported with-

out all the lugging of gear.  

As you can see from the photo it is 

basically wheelbarrow style, with 

a very large ATV wheel, which is 

driven by its own electric motor.  It 

has three speeds.  Easy to steer and 

will climb steep rises and slopes.  

Construction is welded aluminium 

pipe.  All bearings are nylon and 

electrics are sealed.  Unit is fully hose 

down-able.  It has the Winch Battery 

for power source so no extra batter-

ies are needed.  However you may 

need a larger one on the winch to 

cope if travelling longer distances.

The Winch stays on the Mowog 

when fishing, which gives you 

an ideal platform for getting the 

traces on at full torpedo speed.

Kontiki Transport System

Fisheries officers are appealing to 

the public to ensure they’re up to 

speed with the rules around col-

lecting toheroa, now that the rare 

shellfish are making a comeback 

to 90 Mile Beach (Northland).

MPI spokesman, Steve Rudsdale, says 

the beach has been empty of to-

heroa for many years and it is great 

to see juvenile toheroa making a 

comeback and beginning to recover.

However, he says their sur-

vival will be threatened if peo-

ple don’t leave them alone.

“There is a ban on collecting these 

shellfish for a very good reason. 

“The toheroa fishery was closed 

across the country in 1982 after 

a massive reduction in numbers. 

“Their existence remains frag-

ile and they cannot be disturbed. 

Yet Maori under customary permit 

are still allowed to take them which 

makes the whole process pretty hypo-

critical as Maori are the primary takers.

Mr Rudsdale says toheroa have 

a major cultural significance as 

well and it would be a great pity 

to see their recovery fail because 

of people’s greed or the fact that 

people are unaware of the rules.

‘The only exception to collecting to-

heroa is a customary fishing permit.”

$20,000 for collecting toheroa

The Government’s announcement 

that decision-making regarding the 

use of 1080 is to be centralised is a slap 

in the face for regional New Zealand.

Most kiwis support the goal of making 

New Zealand predator-free, but the 

decision to centralise 1080 decision-

making strongly suggests the gov-

ernment no longer trusts Regional 

Councils to make the “right” decisions.

The best way to ruin the predator-

free New Zealand goal is to shut 

local communities out of any in-

volvement in attaining it, and this 

announcement is a pretty good 

step on the way to doing just that!

But the most worrying aspect is that 

it forms part of an emerging pat-

tern to shut local communities and 

local government out of environ-

mental decisions that affect them.

And you just need to look at the state of 

our rivers, streams, the inshore fishery. 

The government just do not care about 

the state of our nations environments.

To wantonly dump tons of 1080 on 

our tourism industry is direct sabo-

tage of the environment. And they 

can do it without fear of prosecution 

as even the Governor Generals office 

refuse to accept letters of complaint.

The Government’s planned chang-

es to the Resource Management 

Act already shift power away 

from the local communities to the 

Minister, and this decision is just 

one more step in that process.

All New Zealanders supported our 

clean, green natural environment, 

however this is changing dramati-

cally as councils fail to clean up their 

act and allow leaching to continue 

with more and more consents to in-

crease intensified dairying and ex-

tract water from almost dry rivers.

This is where the damage is being 

done – in the Council chamber. So 

maybe the government have it right.

The government is sending them 

a clear signal, as the 1080 decision 

does, that they are no longer to be 

trusted to act responsibly towards 

our environment so it is probably 

true but far from helpful, and likely to 

create a backlash that could thwart 

the achievement of the overall goal.. 

National Party dictatorship a worrying trend



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