Wellington Facing ‘Little Dunkirk’ As Protesters Plan To Sail Across The Strait

Greater Wellington, Maritime NZ and the Police are on standby after reports were shared online of more private vessels planning to leave Picton with supplies and protestors for Parliament’s tent city.

It brough back memories of the little ships which crossed the English Channel in May 1940 to save the British Army, says the Editor. And it could be nearly as dangerous as the Cook Strait is one of the roughest and most dangerous stretches of water in the world.

The ‘little ships’ that went to Dunkirk

Today boat protestors weere told to respect the Cook Strait and Wellington harbour

Dangers and Obligations

Greater Wellington’s Harbourmaster Grant Nalder says his team have been working with a range of partners to ensure anyone attempting to cross the Cook Strait is aware of the inherent dangers and the obligations on them once they enter the Wellington region.

Advice to adventurers

“We have been working closely with the Police and Maritime NZ to put advice out to any would be adventurers.

Crossing the Strait is not for the faint-hearted – a degree of experience is needed to understand both the dangers that exist and the obligations of operating a vessel in our region,” says Grant Nalder.

Boat in Cook Strait storm

Advice from the Harbourmaster and his team on social media includes the Wellington Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws, as well as information on berthage in Wellington, contact details for Marinas, instructions on not leaving boats unattended, avoiding creating hazards for other water users, and understanding the unique features, tides and weather conditions of the Wellington Region.

Councillor Penny Gaylor, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Environment Committee echoed the sentiments of the Harbourmaster.

“Our region has had to endure significant disruption because of the actions of some protestors and we don’t want that spilling, literally or figuratively, into our waters. 

We need to continue to ensure our waters remain a place that all people can access, enjoy and use.” says Cr Gaylor.

On Monday, a vessel from Picton was pictured delivering protestors and supplies at Wellington’s Queens Wharf.

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