WANGANUI boat-builders Q-West has won the tender to build a new police vessel which will be used for border security. The Commissioner of Police Howard Broad and the Comptroller of Customs Martyn Dunne said the vessel would replace the Auckland Police launch Deodar ll and would be operational by the end of 2007. “This ushers in a new era in maritime safety and border control with Police and Customs working more closely together as part of the whole-of-government approach to enhance border law enforcement,” Commissioner Broad said. Mr Dunne said the new arrangement built on an already strong partnership with the New Zealand Police. “By sharing resources, Customs and Police can achieve better results for the public and the Government,” he said. The replacement vessel will provide increased capability to carry out all the tasks currently performed by the Deodar II, as well as some taskings for Customs around maritime patrol and craft exclusion. The Deodar ll replacement, to be built by Q-West, is a foil supported, aluminium twin-hull vessel, 18.4 metres long and will have a surface speed of 25 knots.
Subject to funding and vessel performance, the replacement vessel, designed by Auckland company Technicraft, will be the prototype for the replacement of vessels currently operated by Police and Customs. Q-West Boat Builders Limited specialises in manufacturing vessels up to 40 metres and has considerable experience in building high-speed commercial craft. Senior Sergeant Martin Paget of the Police Maritime Unit in Auckland said the proposal by Q-West is an exciting mix of proven design and ultra-modern technology. “The Deodar II replacement is a significant technical step forward for Police and Customs and we believe it will meet both agencies’ requirements into the future.” Whanganui MP Chester Borrows welcomed the news. “The Q-West company which was destroyed by fire less than two years ago, employs about 36 people an is a specialist aluminium boat builder. Rebounding from the fire so quickly was a huge ask for the company, and just goes to show the resilience of owner Miles Fothergill and his staff,” Mr Borrows said. “Winning this contract amongst strong competition from both New Zealand and Australia must give Q –West a big boost, and just underlines the quality craftsmen they are and proves the confidence the international community can have in Wanganui businesses.” “Q-West is a very impressive company and one I have enjoyed showing off to visiting MP’s such as David Carter, Bill English, Annabel Young and most recently Don Brash. Everyone is blown away by the size of the projects at Q-West and the entirely modest way the company operates with such distinction,” he said.