Tiria is the deckhand on the Pelorus Mail Boat, in charge of handing over the mail and other supplies to residents of Pelorus Sound/Te Hoiere.
At just 18 years old, the Blenheim school leaver’s planned course of study was impacted by Covid-19 and she was heading for a supermarket job when she was offered the role on the Pelorus Mail Boat in mid-2020. Now, she loves getting out on the water and meeting all the passengers and local residents.
As deckhand, Tiria’s job is far more than tying up lines. She first picks up mail, freight and other goods at Havelock’s supermarket and petrol station, organises and collates it all, and keeps track of prices and customer payments.
She also looks after the passengers on the boat, cleans the kitchen and calls residents on their landline phones – there’s often no cellphone reception in isolated Pelorus Sound/Te Hoiere – to let them know when the mail boat is likely to arrive at their jetty. Tiria says she initially had no idea how vast Pelorus Sound/Te Hoiere is. Her new job provided a steep learning curve as she learned to recognise landmarks to orientate herself, which order the mail bags go in, and which jetties have pet dogs keen for their weekly treats from the mail boat.
Originally from Warkworth but raised in Marlborough, Tiria loves the region’s tight-knit community and great weather. When she’s not out on the water with the Pelorus Mail Boat she enjoys exploring the local environment and bush walks.