17 Dec 2013

Tokelau to get new passenger ship that may use wind power

2:58 pm on 17 December 2013

The administrator of Tokelau says the New Zealand territory will be getting a new passenger ship, that is likely to be equipped with marine kites to harness wind power.

The ship will be built by December next year and go into service early 2015 after sea-trials.

Jonathan Kings says the 43-metre long ship, which will carry up to 60 passengers, will travel to and from Samoa and be available every day of the year.

Mr Kings says the purpose-built vessel will be of huge significance for Tokelau as the territory has needed a replacement for over 10 years and currently relies on a chartered ship.

"This is a vessel that the community of Tokelau had a major say in the design of - so it is designed to meet their particular needs and it is their only transport link to the outside world so ensuring that they have a safe, pleasant voyage is a matter of huge priority for them and for New Zealand."

Jonathan Kings says the possiblity of using marine kites to make the vessel more efficient is being considered following testing.