Tangaroa open day attracts hundreds of visitors

NIWA’s research vessel RV Tangaroa opened its gangway, decks and doors to an excited public in Dunedin last month. 

More than 650 people came to Dunedin's Fryatt Wharf to tour NIWA's flagship ocean-going research and exploration vessel. The vessel carries out a wide range of science including fishery stock assessments, ocean physics, biology, geology, chemistry and atmospheric studies at sea.

Visitors young and old explored the 70 metre-long, 2,291 tonne vessel - passing from the main deck up to the bridge, down to the fish processing factory and wet lab, engine room and back up to the trawl deck. 

Tangaroa Dunedin Open Day. [Stuart Mackay]

The reaction to the tour was overwhelmingly positive with high excitement and smiles all round. One little girl was even overheard telling Ship's Master Evan Solly that she’d like to have his job.

The tour took about 30 minutes and included scientific equipment and video screens positioned throughout the tour loop. Tangaroa crew and NIWA research and technical staff were on-hand to explain the whys and wherefores of the vessel and the equipment used for key aspects of NIWA's marine science. Researcher Leigh Tait spent the day wharf side, demonstrating the capabilities of NIWA's BoxFish underwater remotely-operated vehicle.

General manager of vessels operations Greg Foothead says the Tangaroa open day was a great opportunity to showcase one of NIWA's primary research assets and her marine science capability. “Public outreach like this connects people with NIWA's work and creates lasting impressions. For many people, this would have been their first time on a ship, let alone a bona-fide research vessel and one capable of working from inshore out to deep ocean canyons and as far south as the icy Ross Sea in Antarctica,” he says.

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General Manager - Vessel Operations
Research subject: Oceans