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We are all volunteers on Hikitia! Funding rarely permits using paid contractors – we do it all.

Most work since 1990 has been achieved with volunteers. And we work Saturdays only – sometimes midweek if urgent.  It takes us 5 Saturdays [5 weeks in elapsed time] to get a week of work done!  We would speed our progress with greater funding levels, to allow use of contractors.

Our volunteers are extraordinary – we work from 8 to 5 every Saturday with only a couple of non-work Saturdays a year. Most are on board by 9-45 and most stay till 4-30ish. We are a close-knit group with great camaraderie and a high skills level in banter and together have an effective collection of relevant skills. This despite only currently two people with genuine maritime careers – the rest of us are IT people, administrators, a retired sheep farmer – a broad miscellany of backgrounds, many when they arrived had little practical skills – they learn how to prepare for painting, how to paint. They become deckhands, crane operators and we get things done and work the ship. There is a wide variety of tasks. Our most experienced Crane Driver is a Forensic Meteorologist, our Lead Gear Room Operator was an Archaeologist who happened to be one of NZ’s prominent aerial photographers. Our longest serving volunteer is John Ackrill who has put over 33 years of effort into Hikitia after he and his wife Joy bought the ship in 1990 with another couple Bob and Mary Box to save it from scrap. Our youngest volunteer is 20, our oldest is our Bilge Master Chris who is 94. We are proud to have 3 nonagenarians on board, offset by 12 under 40. A great bunch of people both male and female. Typical numbers on Saturdays vary from 12 to 20.

Lunch and teas are great social occasions with discussions on many subjects – we do work hard.

The ship supplies laundered overalls, safety equipment, and morning and afternoon teas. Don't forget to bring your own lunch or there are usually plenty of great options available on the waterfront. 

Become a volunteer – call Malcolm McGregor 021 618 402 for more details.



Hikitia in Lyttelton dock June 2009 with the 1907 tug SS Lyttelton





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