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Cargo ship Lady Moana prepares for final voyage

Tuesday 20 December 2022 | Written by Cameron Scott | Published in Local, National, Outer Islands

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Cargo ship Lady Moana prepares for final voyage
Lady Moana dry docked in Tahiti for a necessary check that happens every four years. TAIO SHIPPING/22071102

The Taio Shipping cargo vessel Lady Moana will today leave on its final voyage for 2022 to the Southern Group islands.

The ship will deliver cargo to Atiu, Mitiaro and Mauke, hopefully just in time for Christmas celebrations.

Company director Josh Taio said there would be “quite a bit” of cargo aboard, but volumes had generally been down on previous years. The ship’s departure time was unknown, but was likely to be in the afternoon.

While a government subsidy for voyages to the Pa Enua had helped the company a great deal over a period of six months this year, the final trip for 2022 would be financed entirely by Taio Shipping, he said.

“The subsidy has finished now, but it has been a major help, as it has allowed us to lower freight rates – and on this trip we will keep them down to a similar level,” Taio said.

“Costs have soared since 1998 and freight rates should really be way up. But we have kept them down, because my dad, Tapi, is always thinking about the mamas and papas living on the outer islands and he wants to do his best to help them.”

Taio said the company hoped to secure another subsidy next year, but it was unknown at this stage when or if it would be granted.

“We were very grateful for it – and it has certainly helped with the cost of living in the Southern Group.”

All of the Southern group voyages have been completed by the Lady Moana, the company’s only outer islands cargo which in July passed a survey in Tahiti with flying colours. A survey is required every four years.

Taio said a dry dock inspection had found the ship in “really good” condition.