The official handover of the Border Security RHIB vessel from the New Zealand government to the Niue government was held at Sir Robert’s wharf this afternoon.
It’s understood the vessel arrived in Niue late last year awaiting the completion of the training of its crew which includes an unprecedented team of three women from Immigration Niue, Margaret Siosikefu, Olive Jessop and Dana Kulupa. (pictured with HC Tunnah and constables Lui-Ikiua and Buckner-Poumale)
They join New Aue from Biosecurity, Acestacey Kalauni,Chamberlain Pita, Rodney Alekeniu from Customs, Mike Poumale and Peletisala Kasi from department ofTransport, Brent Ioane, Christian Funaki, Ramona Jackson from Niue Police and Gregory Harding from Fisheries.
The same group also completed training as Maritime VHF Radio Operators joined by Ramona Jackson, Semi Vesidrokadroka, Jazlynnrose Buckner, Leilani Lui-Ikiua from Niue Police and Fatimah Talagi who used to work for the National Disaster Management Office.
The Border Security RHIB was provided under the Hakili Matagi Project run my Immigration New Zealand and funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Hakili Matagi provides immigration support to seven Pacific Island countries including Niue.
Deputy New Zealand High Commissioner Nigel Ewelstold BCN news “This compliments the work done by other New Zealand law agencies in the region including New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs.”
Nigel Ewels officially handed the keys over to Minister of Finance Hon. Crossley Tatui who accepted the vessel on behalf of the Niue government, grateful for the improved means of ensuring maritime border security for the government.
Also present to witness the handover were Premier Dalton Tagelagi and NZ High Commissioner Helen Tunnah.
The vessel and its crew was blessed by Reverend Navy Salatielu of the Alofi Ekalesia.
Training of the multi-agency crew of the RHIB was organised through the New Zealand’s Pacific Maritime Safety Programme and the Niue Marine Department who worked with Evan Barclay from Niue Blue to deliver elements of the New Zealand Coastguard’s Day skipper.
Evan also worked with the crew to develop standard operating procedures and health and safety checks for the boat.
Staff from Niue Immigration, Customs, Police, Biosecurity and Maritime have all contributed to getting the boat and its crew to the handover stage today.