Reliability and longevity are prized qualities in shipping circles, and this month we’re proud to acknowledge a remarkable achievement as our trusty tug, Monowai, celebrates 50 years of dedicated service to New Zealand shipping. Since her construction in 1973, years of service to Southport, and her subsequent acquisition by Port Marlborough in 2017, Monowai has delivered many years of dependable service. A Brief History Monowai was commissioned by the Southland Harbour Board, and built in 1973 in Whangarei, working at Southport before joining us in 2017. Originally, she was painted in Southport green, before having a makeover when she joined Port Marlborough and transformed into the iconic red colour that makes up our towage fleet. Monowai’s Contribution Monowai is reliable and hardworking, and together with Maungatea, has been an integral part of the Port Marlborough marine fleet, having undertaken thousands of manoeuvres over the years in assisting ferries, logging, cargo and cruise ships and ensuring smooth operations for the port. Monowai is powered by two English Electric engines developing 1350hp @ 900rpm . The engines are driving two Voith Schneider propulsion units with a total of 10 propellor blades. Captain & Crew A big shoutout to the Monowai crew and to Skipper Alan Robjohns who have played a pivotal role in maintaining Monowai in impeccable condition throughout a significant part of her journey. Alan’s connection with Monowai traces back to his youth when he first laid eyes on her in Bluff. At that time, he had just embarked on his seafaring career and couldn’t help but wonder if he would ever have the privilege of commanding such an exceptional vessel. Fast forward 50 years, this has come full-circle, and he continues to oversee her with the same enthusiasm. Looking Ahead Monowai has served New Zealand waters for half a century. She will be kept in service when our new addition “Kaiana” arrives to the fleet next year, ensuring our towage services remain resilient with the increase in shipping activity, and the expected arrival of the new Interislander vessels in the coming years.