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Shotover Jet’s new look is more than meets the eye

24 Apr 2019  By Contributor

Shotover Jet’s first rebranded boat has hit the water. Image: Ngāi Tahu Tourism


Queenstown’s iconic Shotover Jet has unveiled a fresh new look for its fleet of twin-engine jet boats – a move that also sees owner Ngāi Tahu Tourism take the opportunity to deepen the world-class experience by adding a unique cultural layer.

On the surface, the rebranding of the boats, which have carried more than 3.7 million passengers in the fifty years they have been operating, will ensure the company continues to be an iconic leader in the jet boating and tourism industry.

However, Kirsty Phillips, who heads up NTT’s marketing, communications and customer experience team, says carrying out the first significant redesign since 2001 following the company’s purchase in 1999, means much more than this for the iwi-owned tourism operator.

“This brand refresh gave us an opportunity to think about what we offer in a new way and how we authentically weave the Ngāi Tahu culture and heritage through the experience,” says Phillips.

“It’s about adding another layer, so that manuhiri (visitors) leave with more than just the thrills, but something that touches their heart as well. Our Ngāi Tahu heritage means we can introduce manuhiri to the rich, unique history and natural beauty of the Kimiākau (Shotover River). With exclusive access, only we can deliver an experience like this through the Shotover Canyons.”

The rebrand is the first significant redesign since 2001. Image: Ngāi Tahu Tourism

The first rebranded boat, which has just hit the water, is part of Shotover Jet’s latest generation of jet boats – they are the fastest, lightest and most fuel efficient machines, reaching speeds of 90kmh, performing spins in excess of 360 degrees and delivering the most comfortable ride for manuhiri and drivers. The rest of the jet boats will follow over the next few months.

Jolanda Cave, Ngāi Tahu Tourism’s general manager of Jet Boat Operations, added that NTT “is proud to keep much of the design and build in Aotearoa.”

This saw the jet units made by Hamilton Jet in Christchurch, the boat hull built by Avon Engineering in Gore, the paint and upholstery come from Vincent Holdings in Alexandra, the carbon fibre components made by FI Innovations in Invercargill, and the whole boat fitted together at the Shotover Jet workshop in Queenstown.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism is a subsidiary of Ngāi Tahu Holdings, which is governed by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. The group will be at TRENZ showcasing its 14-strong portfolio of tourism businesses including the new look Shotover Jet. Visit the Shotover Jet team at stand 6028 to learn more.


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