Wellington police are looking forward to being able to respond more quickly to emergencies at sea with a new launch being built to replace the ageing Lady Elizabeth III.
The new vessel's $3.5 million dollar cost will be funded from the current national police budget. It is the first maritime upgrade in the capital for 20 years.
The officer in charge of maritime police, John Bryant, says the catamaran design will allow for extended patrolling on the water, since sleeping facilities are included.
He says the Lady Elizabeth IV will be able to travel at double the speed of its predecessor.
Four new crew members are being trained in preparation for the launch of the boat in a year.