One of Queenstown’s biggest tourism players is looking to make waves in the eco-tourism sector.
Ngai Tahu Tourism, which owns Shotover Jet, confirms it’s investigating how to power its famous jetboats with electric engines.
Chief executive Quinton Hall says: “We currently have a project investigating how to electrify our jetboats, so hopefully we will see electric power in the not-too-distant future.”
It follows a visit to the business’ Arthurs Point base by Governor- General Dame Patsy Reddy, who told Mountain Scene eco-tourism will be increasingly important.
“Given that tourism is so important to New Zealand, doing eco-tourism well will be very important for our future, not only because we can’t sustain the level of tourism unless we’re doing it in a sensible way, but it will also make it something that people around the world will want to come and experience.”
Hall says Shotover Jet staff showed Dame Patsy their “latest-generation” jetboats, including the new boat T12, which is currently in the final stages of being built.
“This generation of boat is the first major redesign of the twin-engine V8s that we have been operating since 2002,” he says.
“It’s lighter, faster and more fuel-efficient – it’s also more comfortable for our drivers and our manuhiri (customers).”
Hall says sustainability is an “ever-increasing focal point” for Ngai Tahu and Ngai Tahu Tourism, which has set a goal to be carbon-zero by 2040.
“This is no small task considering many of our businesses are centred around jetboats and helicopters, but we’re committed to it.”