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Source: Auckland Council

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

In stage one, Aucklanders were asked for name ideas and over 3000 people gave their suggestions.

In stage two, the port narrowed down the field, with names like Ashley Bloomfield, Electric Disco Biscuit, The Fighting Queen of COVID, Doug and even Tuggy McTugface did not make the grade.

Now, in stage three, Ports of Auckland has narrowed down to just four names – and the public gets to choose the winner:

  1. Ārahi – meaning to lead, escort, conduct, drive
  2. E.T. – short for ‘Electric Tug’
  3. Hiko – meaning electrical, power, electronic, electric, lightning
  4. 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.”

The suggested names are both serious and adventurous, like the new e-tug, which unlike the port’s older tugs will have a lightning bolt painted on it to mark it out.

Ports of Auckland will reveal the winning name soon after voting closes at 5pm, Sunday 14 June.

To vote, visit