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Choose the name for Auckland’s world-first electric ship-handling tug

Ports of Auckland is getting the world's first full-sized ship-handling electric​​ tug. This is a proud moment for Auckland and New Zealand in the fight against global warming, so we've asked Kiwis to help name it.

In stage one we asked for name ideas and over 3,000 people gave us their suggestions.

In stage two we narrowed down the field. Sorry Ashley Bloomfield, we have not chosen your name as one of the finalists. Other great names like 'Electric Disco Biscuit', 'The Fighting Queen of Covid', 'Doug' and even 'Tuggy McTugface' did not make the grade.

In stage three we narrowed down to just four names – and the public get to choose the winner.

  • Ārahi – meaning to lead, escort, conduct, drive
  • E.T. – short for 'Electric Tug'
  • Hiko - meaning electrical, power, electronic, electric, lightning
  • Sparky – diminutive of 'spark', slang for an electrician, related to electricity, but also sparking change

"We are stoked with the response" said port communications manager Matt Ball, "we were hoping to get a thousand entries, so over three times that number is brilliant!"

"It looks like people had a lot of fun making up names, and we've had a lot of laughs sorting through them. We've narrowed down the field, tested the short-list for operational suitability and arrived at the final four names going to public vote."

We think these names are both serious and adventurous, like the new e-tug, which unlike our older tugs, will have a big lightning bolt painted on it to mark it out as special.

We will reveal the winning name soon after voting closes. 

To vote, visit


For further information contact:​

Matt Ball

GM PR & Communications

M: +6421 495 645

E: [email protected]