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Fullers GreatSights to run Hokianga ferry

Bay of Islands-based company Fullers GreatSights will take over operation of the Hokianga vehicle ferry on behalf of Far North District Council from today.

The company won the contract to operate the Kohu Ra Tuarua following an open tender process that closed in September 2019.

Fullers GreatSights will begin operating the ferry from Friday, May 1. Its contract is for three years, with a right of renewal.

General manager – infrastructure and asset management Andy Finch says there will be no change in the levels of service provided to customers with both fares and the ferry timetable remaining the same.

"The service is still owned and managed by the Council. Just as before, decisions about ferry fares and the timetable will be made by the Council in consultation with our funding partner, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the community, and the operator. These are assessed every three years."

He says Fullers GreatSights was selected to take on day-to-day ferry operations because of its expertise in running vehicle ferries and its existing maritime safety credentials.

The contract change marks the end of an era. The company, now known as Broadspectrum Ltd, has successfully operated the vehicle ferry for many years.

Andy says that in 2018, Broadspectrum’s parent company signalled that it intended to refocus its New Zealand businesses on its core roading water and wastewater operations and wished to relinquish the ferry contract.

"I want to thank Boradspectrum and its staff, who have done a fantastic job keeping this vital transport link open over the decades. I also welcome Fullers GreatSights to the role.

"This is a local business with extensive experience operating vehicle ferries. It has a track record of working with the community and I’m sure the Hokianga will benefit from Fullers GreatSights operating on the Hokianga."

Fullers GreatSights currently runs the Opua to Okiato vehicle ferry service in the Bay of Islands, as well as several passenger vessels. The company has been operating in the Bay of Islands since 1887 when Albert Ernest Fuller started delivering coal to island communities.

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