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It’s electric! Queenstown’s iconic red Shotover Jet goes green

Shotover Jet will be the world’s first electric jet boat to be used solely for tourism with the electric-powered prototype just one of 88 planned initiatives to steer Ngāi Tahu Tourism towards becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

Shotover Jet will be the world’s first electric jet boat to be used solely for tourism with the electric-powered prototype just one of 88 planned initiatives to steer Ngāi Tahu Tourism towards becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

Shotover Jet, set in a pristine river canyon in Queenstown (Tāhuna), is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most iconic visitor activities and, pre-pandemic, hosted more than 180,000 manuhiri (visitors) a year.

It’s one of the multiple experiences offered by Ngāi Tahu Tourism, and while still in its testing phase, the electric prototype project has been underway since 2019.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism General Manager Jolanda Cave says the innovation and hard work behind the move away from fossil fuels will mean at least half of Ngāi Tahu Tourism’s jetboat fleet will be electric by 2030.

“As demand for our popular jet boats grow and international tourists return to Queenstown, we’re looking forward to showcasing our iwi values of guardianship and leadership. Through these steps and more we can keep our environment pristine and beautiful for future generations,” Ms Cave said.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism General Manager Jolanda Cave.

The new silent jetboat is now conducting test runs through the majestic Kimiākau awa (Shotover River), which has been home to Ngāi Tahu ancestors for centuries.

The electric jetboat prototype is one of 88 initiatives announced by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu as part of its Te Kounga Paparangi plan, which will see the iwi cut greenhouse gas emissions, embrace renewable energy, optimise resource use, reduce water and ecosystem impacts, and create a resilient future for Ngāi Tahu whānau.

For more info, visit shotoverjet.com/electric-jet-boat