Steve Latham owner and skipper of Auckland Sea Shuttles

Steve Latham considers himself lucky that his company Auckland Sea Shuttles has been operating at 20 percent of its usual level. Like others in the tourism and transport industry, Steve’s water taxi business has been knocked hard by the Covid-19 lockdown. However, he has had some work transporting essential food and medical supplies to inner Hauraki Gulf islands. “I pick up in Okahu Bay, run over to Islington Bay then Motuihe, Rakino, sometimes The Noises, or Tiritiri Matangi then back to Waiheke.” Steve has delivered supplies from social-enterprise Eat My Lunch to Rakino and says he appreciates people on the islands using his service to get their supplies as that has kept the wolves from his door. “It’s nice to be able to look after all those people that are on the islands, they’re the base customers and there’s a bit of a blurred line between friends and clients.” In total, he’s had one or two days of work a week, which included taking biosecurity workers to Motukorea (Brown’s Island) to catch a stoat on the loose. “Before Covid came along we had a flow, we had jobs booked in. You just wonder if it will kick offagain and if the market will be changed. There are a lot of unknowns but the saving grace is it’s actually nothing that I did. I didn’t make this happen.” With recreational boating banned during the lockdown, Steve says it’s a really different situation out on the Gulf. *Erin Johnson

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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