Napier's newest tug boat has arrived at the Port, after more than a month at sea.

The Kaweka has completed its trip from Vietnam, bringing the tug fleet at Napier Port to three.

Existing tugs, Te Mata and Ahuriri, as well as pilot boat Pania, guided the new boat into the port.

The boat was named after the Kaweka Ranges, following an engagement process with local marae, hapū and iwi.


The boat departed Vietnam in late September, taking over a month to get here as it was sailed half way around the world.

At the time the Kaweka left Vietnam, Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson said the extra tug will boost customer service.

"This is an important step toward building the resilience and agility of our infrastructure," Dawson said.

"A strong port is important to our region's economic prosperity as a gateway to and from global markets.

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"Over the last two years cargo volumes have increased and we need to grow our capacity to support future growth."

Napier Port Capability and Cruise Manager Bruce Lochhead said an extra tug will improve the ports ability to service vessels, including larger vessels, reduce congestion and delays, improve berth availability and maintain full marine services if one of the other two tugs is unavailable.

The new tug does have one point of difference compared to its current counterparts.


The Kaweka is an Azimuth Tractor Drive, compared to Te Mata and Ahuriri who have a Voith-type propeller.

A tractor tug will work well in Napier, as it is manoeuvrable, can operate in swell and can tow indirectly.

At 24m in length, the Kaweka has 72 tonnes of bollard pull.