Nearly 25 years after building CentrePort's pilot boat Tarakena, Whanganui's Q-West Boatbuilders have just delivered its replacement.
Te Haa, meaning "the breath", was officially launched at Q-West on Monday morning following a blessing.
It then made the 4-5 hour journey to Wellington Harbour where it will be commissioned as CentrePort's primary pilot boat.
The Camarc (UK) designed boat has been under construction at Q-West for the past year.
It's an 18.8m, 35 tonne vessel powered by twin 900 horsepower jet engines with a top speed of 32 knots and a operating speed of 24 knots.
The boat is designed to operate safely in adverse weather conditions far out in the Cook Strait.
Q-West won the contract to build Te Haa in an international tender process last year.
"We were extremely proud to be selected and of the men and women that have produced this quality craft," Q-West general manager Colin Mitchell said.
"CentrePort now have one of the most high-tech pilot vessels in New Zealand and we look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with them in the future."
Among Te Haa's features is a hull isolated from the cabin and the boat's ability to right itself.
"If it was to tip over, the way the hull and the cabin is designed it inherently wants to bounce back up again," Mr Mitchell said.
"So inside the you can be strapped to the chairs and everything's tied down so it doesn't get thrown around should that event happen.
"And any structure-borne noise that comes from the engines and rotating machinery is isolated from the cabin which makes it very quiet inside."
CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind was pleased the boat was able to be built in New Zealand.
"The vessel will provide significant health and safety benefits to our pilots and launch crews, since it has been designed to provide a safe platform in adverse weather," he said.
"She will enable central New Zealand businesses to connect with international markets, and provide a new level of safety, speed and efficiency."