Scheduled maintenance on the Aratere

Kaitaki returns while Aratere undergoes maintenance

Our Interislander ship Aratere is due for servicing shortly. While it is being serviced, the Kaitaki and Kaiarahi will be in operation.  

We have a project team committed to enabling rail freight is transferred smoothly from rail to ferry and back to rail again using these ships, as neither has the rail-enabled capability of the Aratere.


Dates and details 

  • The Aratere will be out of service from Monday, 30 August 2021. Its last sailing is at 20:45pm from Picton on Sunday, 29 August 2021.
  • We expect to return the Aratere to service one month later on Thursday, 30 September 2021. Its first sailing is scheduled for 16:00pm from Wellington.
  • The essential maintenance includes work on the deck and engine room (at a wet dock in Wellington) and hull inspections, anti-corrosion protection and painting (at a dry dock in Sydney). Please be assured we have appropriate mitigations and protocols in place to manage the risks associated with COVID-19 throughout this process.


How this impacts freight customers

  • We will be transferring rail freight on and off the ships using dedicated tractor and trailer units. We expect this arrangement to be in place for one month. We are preparing our people to carry this work out safely and efficiently.
  • There will be less space in our ferry terminals. To reduce the possibility of congestion or delays, we are asking that all our freight customers move any trailers they may have in the terminal immediately after their ship’s arrival.
  • If you transport dangerous goods, please ensure that appropriate placards are correctly displayed and secured well. This is to ensure dangerous goods are handled and positioned appropriately and is especially important given the movement of containers on and off our trailer units. For rail freight, placards must be placed between 1.25 and 1.75m above rail level. Securing a placard may involve the person attaching it wiping or cleaning the appropriate spot to ensure the placard stays in place.


Ensuring a reliable service

At Kiwirail, we’re committed to ensuring the service we provide is reliable for our customers. The Interislander’s programme of scheduled, essential maintenance keeps our ships in good operating condition, reducing unexpected mechanical issues and confirming we run safely and efficiently.


Find out more

Throughout this period, we aim to have as limited an impact on your business as possible. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact your Key Account Executive, or our Customer Service team on 0800 202 484 (Domestic) or 0800 351 351 (Imex).