New port of call for ex-Marine
A former United States Marine, and Navy warfare boat operator has been charged with keeping Taranaki waters safe and secure.
Maritime New Zealand has re-opened its New Plymouth office after five years and Michael Vredenburg is the new officer in charge.
MNZ Director Keith Manch said the region was a significant contributor to the maritime sector and the re-opening reflected that.
"Port Taranaki is at the centre of New Zealand's offshore petroleum industry and is also a key import and export port," he said.
"MNZ's vision is for a safe, secure and clean maritime environment and it makes good sense to have a permanent officer based in New Plymouth."
Vredenburg was born in California but raised in Texas and is a former US Marine and US Navy special warfare boat operator and has worked in the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico.
He also has experience as a commercial diver, a ship's engineer and has been the port state control officer in the Marshall Islands for the past five years.
"The fishing and diving (in the Marshalls) were awesome. But paradise gets old after five years, it got boring so I had to leave."
Vredenburg moved to New Zealand and started working seven weeks ago.
"I arrived and started work the next day. It's a new job and a new country for me."
The big question is, will he get sick of "Taradise"?
"I love it, I absolutely love it. I actually like the isolation, it reminds me of a lot of places in Texas."
Taranaki Daily News