Livestock carrier still in Taranaki as it awaits clearance following engine repairs

Live export ship Ocean Ute's departure from Port Taranaki has been pushed back again as it awaits approval following repairs to one of its engines.
The ship had been due to leave port on Saturday lunchtime, but on Monday morning remained at port.

Its departure has now been moved to 8am Wednesday.

Our export consignment of cattle to China has been delayed while repairs are completed to one of the engines on the MV Ocean Ute, managing director of exporter Genetic Development Dave Hayman said in an emailed statement.

We understand repairs have now been completed, as required under warranty from engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, and the shipowners are awaiting the final approval from the Ship Classification authorities and Maritime NZ.

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The 139-metre-long vessel has faced a number of delays since arriving in New Zealand waters on March 5 to transport up to 4500 cattle to China.

On March 6 the ship was forced south to shelter because of a Long Period Wave and returned to Taranaki waters on March 8.

On March 9 it was meant to depart for China, but suffered engine troubles shortly after arriving.

The delay is unfortunate for the wide range of rural and port contractors who are on standby for the preparation and loading of the cattle with all due care, Hayman said.

As part of live export requirements, cattle need to complete a 30-day isolation period on an MPI-approved farm where they receive vaccinations and are monitored by vets to make sure they're ready for their journey.

The cattle have been kept at this farm until the ship is ready for them to be loaded.

The team on the farm are well-prepared for such contingencies with plenty of the right feed on hand.

We expect to have the consignment on its way within 2-3 days.


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