Greater Wellington congratulates East by West Ferries on Green Gold award

Staff & Operators Sustainability & Technology

East by West Ferries’ ground-breaking electric harbour ferry picked up the Green Gold award at The Wellington Gold Awards this year.

Sponsored by Greater Wellington and awarded to a business that has demonstrated excellence in sustainability across their products or projects, East by West Ferries scooped the prize for Ika Rere - the first fully electric, high speed passenger ferry in the southern hemisphere.

The locally built vessel which sails across Te Whanganui-a-Tara has a passenger capacity of 132, with three crew, an on-board café, and inside and outside seating options.

Nigel Corry, Chief Executive of Greater Wellington, said the winner said Ika Rere was an example to the world.  

“Built in a shed in Seaview, this fantastic example of kiwi ingenuity has put the marine passenger transport industry on high alert across the globe. The dedicated team at East by West Ferries have shown what can be done with a common goal, local support, willing partners and outlook focused on sustainability and the future,” says Nigel Corry.

East by West Ferries was up against some stiff competition in the Green Gold category, including: JH Whittaker & Son, Blue Star, Orba Shoes, Wonky and YY Nation.

Samantha Gain, General Manager for Metlink, said the future was bright for the region’s public transport and environment.

“East by West Ferries are certainly making waves and this signals the beginning of the end for diesel-powered passenger ferries. It’s great to see Ika Rere in the harbour, complementing over 100 electric buses on our roads and the Matangi electric trains we have across our region,” said Samantha Gain.

To bring the electric ferry to life, from initial drawings to a fully-fledged vessel on Wellington’s waters, East by West created a subsidiary in Wellington Electric Boat Building Company (WEBBC). Not to be outdone by its sister company, WEBBC also picked up a Gold award, this time for innovation. Not a bad night for the two Wellington based businesses.

Ika Rere sails Wellington Harbour to and from Queens Wharf to Days Bay up to seven times a day, giving passengers a sustainable and smooth journey.

Find out more about The Wellington Gold awards(external link)

See the Harbour Ferry sailing times(external link)