A new boat for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been blessed and named after Moko the dolphin.
The council officially welcomed the vessel at a special ceremony held outside the Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club.
Bay of Plenty harbourmaster Peter Buell said that the name of the new boat acknowledged the dolphin that frequented Te Awanui Tauranga Harbour as well as all marine taonga.
"It's going to be great having such a versatile vessel available for patrol on Tauranga Harbour this summer.
''It's low and soft sides make it easier to approach other vessels and the layout means there is a great platform for our scientists to work from. It's also extremely light to tow, efficient to run and can be used by one person in stable weather conditions," he said.
Mr Buell also said the boat was surveyed to carry up to eight people and will be useful in emergency situations as it has the capacity to tow other boats.
Moko will be based in Tauranga but will serve the wider Bay of Plenty region as required.
"You'll see her out and about this summer helping the maritime team keep people safe on the water," Mr Buell said.