Blessing for new boats

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Local Ned Webster aims a taiaha – a ceremonial weapon – at ancestral landmarks during a Maori blessing for Queenstown Water Taxis’ new venture.

In the Queenstown Bay ceremony early on Tuesday, Webster told boat drivers (from left) Jay Berriman, Mike Johnson and Brent Ward, and directors Andre Cockburn, Duncan Storrier and Neville Kelly: “You’re taking the right step to clear the way for your business.”

To return the favour, Cockburn says his company will employ divers over the Christmas holidays to clean up the bay.

The business uses its two Osprey boats and a Stabi-Craft for scheduled trips between Queenstown Bay and Frankton Arm, as well as charter work round Lake Wakatipu including Glenorchy.

The company’s also locked in a battle with Kawarau Jet over planned tourist trips on the Kawarau River.