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Coastguard Taranaki moves into its new home

Coastguard Taranaki has moved into its new home which it will share with Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

The official opening of the Red Shed at Port Taranaki was held on Sunday and attracted a crowd of representatives from both organisations.

The project to refurbish the building, which sees it co-owned by the groups and known as the Todd Energy Sea Rescue Centre, had taken 18 months and cost $120,000, Coastguard Taranaki fundraising coordinator Colin Hunt said.

Hunt said being based in the building would speed up their response times and give them a place to have a hot shower after rescue missions.

“The guys would go in there and get all of their gear and then they would have to come all of the way around here, 10 minutes and somebody could be dead.”

Coastguard’s radio equipment had already been moved into its new home which Hunt described as a vast improvement on its previous base.

“We had an old building down there where the pilot boats are and the last time I went down there I fell through the floor.”

Hunt said it was an excellent opportunity to join forces with SLSNZ with both organisations working towards the same goal of saving lives.

“They do the inshore stuff and we go all of the way out.”

Coastguard Taranaki president Lee Drummond said the new home was the latest milestone after the service took ownership of Todd Energy Rescue, a $1.2 million AMF 1170 quick response vessel, in 2012.

He said the partnership with SLSNZ was a good fit and would benefit the future of both groups.

“It’s great, we end up working with these guys in searches.”

Drummond said the coastguard and SLSNZ were grateful to the TSB Community Trust and Todd Energy for the support to make the project a reality.

Charlie Cordwell, SLSNZ central region manager, said while the organisation’s call out squad had been based in the building for a number of years the new partnership would allow the groups to share expenses and gain experience.

“Not only does it encourage cooperation across our organisations but as charities, there are important costs savings to be made and it ensures the economic viability of the building long-term,” Cordwell said.

 – Stuff