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23 May 2024

Marine display takes centre stage at Port Open Day

During its first Open Day in seven years, Port Nelson received over 3000 visitors who were able to observe the port's operations up close. The main attraction of the day was a marine display at McGlashen Wharf, where the public had the opportunity to witness two of Port Nelson's tugboats in action and jump on board to explore multiple vessels firsthand. 

The community and families of port team members were given an opportunity to take a guided tour of the port, explore container handling equipment and warehouse displays, and learn about the various local community organisations that the port partners with. 

Visitors were able to walk through Port operations onto McGlashen Wharf to the marine display featuring the port’s tugs, pilot boat, and New Zealand Customs vessel, Hawk VI. The vessels drew large crowds throughout the day who were curious about how the vessels operate and to meet the crew onboard. There was also an opportunity to view the vessels in action as part of two marine displays where over 300 people gathered to watch at the wharf's edge.  

Two of the Ports tugs, Hūria Mātenga II and Tōia put on an impressive display, showcasing their extensive manoeuvrability and power. They also entertained the crowd with an exciting wrestling display that had everybody cheering. Marine Operations Manager Alex Haughey said, “The marine displays for Open Day take some preparation and resourcing to do well, but it’s worth it to be able to showcase our people and kit to members of the public who might normally only see the tugs in the distance going about their business. It’s also a bit of fun out on the water!” 

The Open Day was a huge success, providing a unique opportunity for the public to experience the inner workings of Port Nelson and learn about the important role it plays in the local community.