Fullers are increasing Waiheke ferry fares in a move the company says will help reduce demand for ferry services during peak travel times. From 1 July, the fare on a return ticket will rise 19 percent to $59 and the 50 percent discount for off-peak travel, 1pm onwards to Waiheke and from 7pm to Auckland, will be extended to include children and families. 

“Waiheke Island is our most popular destination,” Fullers’ announcement on 15 June says. “The new pricing structure aims to shift some of the demand into off-peak times to help manage the flow of passengers.”

Persistent issues with delays, cancellations and breakdowns have been a long-running source of frustration for Waiheke residents and commuters. Fullers has pointed to the challenge of meeting high demand during an industry-wide staffing shortage as one of the main factors in these issues. Fullers spokeswoman Alex Dudley says the company has been running a successful domestic recruiting campaign, but remains 26 qualified crew short of an ideal roster. • Paul Mitchell

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