Kaitaki to be sailing again Wednesday afternoon

Stormy weather caused damage to the Interislander’s Kaitaki

Ross Setford/NZPA

Stormy weather caused damage to the Interislander’s Kaitaki

Kiwirail expects the Kaitaki ferry will be back in action by Wednesday afternoon after damage to the bow door saw sailings cancelled on Tuesday.

Stormy weather on Monday afternoon caused minor damage to the Interislander’s Kaitaki ship, which saw its sailings for Tuesday and Wednesday morning cancelled as a safety precaution.

Kiwirail hopes to have the ferry back in action for the 2.15pm Wednesday sailing from Picton to Wellington.

The damage did not affect the safety of the ship, but during pre-departure preparation it was found the door could not re-align before closing, Interislander operations general manager Duncan Roy said.

The ferry Aratere ran extra sailings and times were altered to help accommodate disrupted customers who were contacted directly.

“We apologise for the inconvenience these cancellations may cause however safety is our top priority in these situations,” Roy said.

Interislander also warned on Tuesday that weather conditions in the Cook Strait were “forecast to deteriorate with moderate swells likely”.


Interislander’s Kaitaki ferry had a rough start to 2023, with engineering faults putting it out of commission. In January, while carrying hundreds of passengers, it lost all power and drifted towards rocks.

Bluebridge had not reported any ferry cancellations on its website, but also noted that with conditions set to deteriorate through until Tuesday evening, there could be delays.

“Sailings are going ahead; however, they will be rough and may take longer, resulting in delays. We will continue reviewing the forecast closely and will update this weather alert,” its website read.

MetService has issued a marine gale warning for the Cook Strait with southerlies of 35 knots expected on Tuesday, easing to about 10 knots in the evening. This would bring a long period of southerly swells of about 2 metres.

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