Go to the video section.

Follow this link to an exceptional set of images showing the wreck of the Wahine, taken on 12 April 1968 two days following the disaster. This must rank as the most beautiful and the most striking photography ever shot aboard the wreck:

www.tompalaskas.com/wahine-disaster-1968/

Wahine New Photos



Onlookers probably at Muritai Beach, Eastbourne late on the afternoon of Wednesday, 10th April 1968, where the Wahine's lifeboat S3 reached shore. With thanks to Yvonne McOnie.



The Wahine on a fine summer's evening in January 1968, steaming towards the Inter-Island wharf in Wellington harbour at the finish of a daylight voyage from Lyttelton. Photo by Warwick W.G. Pryce. This photo is his copyright.



The Wahine just off Number 1 Queens Wharf in Wellington harbour, where the photographer is standing. She is moving 'slow ahead' as Captain Robertson on the bridge prepares to turn the ship and go astern into her berth at the Inter-Island wharf. Mooring wires hang over the port bow, where they have been set up by the Wahine's seamen in readiness for berthing. The heads of passengers standing on the observation deck can also be seen, just under the bridge windows. The Wahine looks immaculate, as she always did. Photo by Warwick W.G. Pryce. This photo is his copyright.



The Wahine shows her beautiful lines as she reverses 'slow astern' into her berth at the Inter-Island wharf. The terminal buildings are at far left; above them can be seen the crane of the floating steam-powered crane Hikitia, which was used to bring ashore large hull pieces cut from the wreck of the Wahine. A head rope hangs from the Wahine's bow, from where it will be picked up by a shore gang and secured to bollards on the wharf. The white water just to the left of her bow is from the Wahine's starboard bow thruster, which is being used by Captain Robertson to swing her bow round to port and line her up with the wharf. Photo by Warwick W.G. Pryce. This photo is his copyright.



Going 'slow astern' into her berth at the Inter-Island wharf, this image is fourth in the same sequence taken on a January evening in 1968, just a few months before the disaster of 10th April. At left, the two black balls hoisted to the arms of the signal yard on the Wahine's main mast tell other ships to keep clear as she is manoeuvring. This mast now stands on the foreshore of Wellington city in Frank Kitts Park. In front of the Wahine, the Wellington Harbour Board's pilot launch Tiakina is heading out from the tug wharf. Under the command of Captain John Brown, in very high seas on 10 April 1968 the Tiakina came alongside the Wahine so that Deputy Harbour Master Captain D.W. Galloway could jump onto a rope ladder hanging down the Wahine's side and climb aboard. Photo by Warwick W.G. Pryce. This photo is his copyright.



TEV Wahine alongside the Inter-Island wharf in Wellington harbour. Photo by Warwick W.G. Pryce. This photo is his copyright.

Smoking room

Looking up at the Wahine in the evening sun, viewed from Waterloo Quay wharf in Wellington. Photo by Warwick W.G. Pryce. This photo is his copyright.

Smoking room

The starboard wing of the Wahine's bridge with her starboard motor boat, known as "S1," on its davits at left. Under the command of Third Officer Grahame Noblet, this boat was one of four launched from the Wahine when she was abandoned early on the afternoon of 10th April 1968. Shortly afterwards S1 was rolled by a large breaking wave and its 40 occupants thrown into the sea. Assistant Purser Christopher Morrah was among them, becoming one of 51 passengers and crew from the Wahine who died that day. Photo by Warwick W.G. Pryce. This photo is his copyright.

Smoking room

The starboard bow of the Wahine, showing how faultlessly her seamen kept her painted and maintained. Eastbourne can be seen in the distance, on the opposite shore of Wellington harbour. Just two years from when this photo was taken in 1968, her bow will be a jagged, oil-smeared, seaweed-encrusted hunk of rusting steel upturned on a nearby wharf, having been cut from the wreck of the Wahine then carried ashore for scrap. Photo by Warwick W.G. Pryce. This photo is his copyright.

Smoking room

The Wahine at her berth in Wellington, Number 2 Inter-Island wharf, taken on a Sunday in early 1968 just a few months before she was lost. The Red Ensign flies in the north-westerly breeze from the ensign staff at her stern. Just below, the steel on and around her stern door has been stripped ready for repainting by her seamen, who will probably start work on this the following morning. Whatever is said and written about the Wahine, there can be no denying she was a most beautiful ship. Photo by Warwick W.G. Pryce. This photo is his copyright.


Wahine on the river Clyde

The Wahine on the River Clyde in Scotland just after she was completed. She is being pulled and steered by two tugs owned by Steel & Bennie Ltd. They are most probably taking her down-river to the port of Greenock from where the Wahine will steam her builder's trials on the Firth of Clyde. Photograph by Graeme Ross. This photo is his copyright.

Wahine alongside

The Wahine photographed alongside the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Wellington on the afternoon of Sunday 24 July 1966, the day she arrived from Scotland at the finish of her delivery voyage. Photograph by Stephen Berry. This photo is his copyright.

Wahine inbound

A magnificent photo, among the best-ever of the Wahine, showing her steaming off Kaiwharawhara in Wellington harbour on a morning arrival from Lyttelton. The hills and houses of Ngaio and Wadestown lie behind her. Photograph by Stephen Berry. This photo is his copyright.

Wahine sailing

The sun catches the Wahine's bronze-green hull in a second photograph of her steaming in Wellington harbour after an overnight voyage from Lyttelton. At left are the rail ferries Aranui and Aramoana, berthed together at their terminal. Photograph by Stephen Berry. This photo is his copyright.

Wahine deck

A beautiful, crystal-clear view taken aboard the Wahine in November 1967, looking from the port side of her general lounge on A Deck towards the port wing of the bridge. An entrance to the general lounge is in the centre foreground, inboard of lifeboat P4. The base of the Wahine's mainmast, which now stands in Frank Kitts Park on the Wellington city foreshore, is at right. At left is the arm of the Wahine's port aft Schat davit for lowering life rafts. Photograph by Stephen Berry. This photo is his copyright.

Wahine salvaged bridge

The bridge of the Wahine on Tuesday 12 November 1968 as it is lifted onto Fryatt Quay in Wellington by the Wellington Harbour Board's floating crane Hikitia, after it was cut from the wreck. Photograph by Stephen Berry. This photo is his copyright.

Wahine video gallery

This is raw, unedited footage of the Wahine sinking, interviews with some of the passengers and crew, also footage of the court of inquiry and salvage of the Wahine (with thanks to Warwick Brandon).

Video 3 includes clips of Captain Robertson being interviewed by TV reporters on 1 August 1968 (at 22.15 minutes and at 25.19 minutes).

Wahine footage video 1

The screen goes black at 9 seconds into this video; this was caused by a fault with the processing equipment used in 1968 when the film was removed from the camera and developed. The voice that begins speaking shortly after this: “Tragedy today in Wellington harbour” is that of Peter Brien, who was a radio and television announcer with the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation.

The funeral that begins at the 10 minute point is that of the Wahine’s Assistant Purser Christopher Morrah, who was among the 51 passengers and crew who lost their lives on 10 April 1968. At 10.16 minutes Captain Robertson is seen amongst the mourners outside the church where the funeral was held. The footage immediately following this, showing the wreck of the Wahine, was taken on Thursday 11 April 1968, the day following the disaster. The Royal New Zealand Air Force C130 Hercules seen at the very end of the video, is disembarking survivors from the Wahine at Auckland.

Wahine footage video 2
Wahine footage video 3

Footage commencing at 0.28 minutes on this video shows Marine Department officials and then senior Police officers being interviewed by reporters about the loss of life, the search for bodies and the counting of survivors. The man at 3.11 minutes is Sir Francis Kitts, who was Mayor of Wellington in 1968. The building shown at 8.55 minutes, located at the north end of Lambton Quay Wellington, was the venue for the court of enquiry into the Wahine’s loss. This is followed by views inside the enquiry room. At 10.26 minutes we see Mr R.D. Jamieson, who was the magistrate (judge) appointed to conduct the enquiry. He is addressing the court from 17.06 minutes onwards. From 10.50 minutes the film shows the opening of the enquiry on its first day, 25 June 1968. From 16.48 minutes Captain Robertson is seen walking towards the camera and then passing reporters and photographers outside the court room. At 24.10 minutes Mr Jamieson is seen delivering his findings at the end of the enquiryon 1 August 1968. At 26.56 Captain Robertson, with his back to the camera, is shown leaving the court room for the last time, following the end of the enquiry. At 26.58 minutes and at 27 .09 minutes there are glimpses of him seated in the front row of tables in the court room.

Wahine footage video 4

Video 4 shows the coroner’s enquiry into the loss of life, from 1.40 minutes onwards. There is another glimpse at 2.30 minutes of Captain Robertson, with hand raised, seated at the court of enquiry. At 2.36 minutes Captain Robertson is seen walking out of the court room. He is accompanied by the Wahine’s chief officer, Mr R.S. Luly, who is walking behind Captain Robertson and has a tobacco pipe in his mouth. The other man with him, seen again at 3 minutes and smiling at the camera as he walks past, is the Wahine’s chief engineer Mr H. Wareing. At 3.09 minutes Captain Robertson is seen pausing for press photographers outside the door to the court room.

Beginning at 3.39 minutes is footage taken on the wreck of the Wahine showing the clearing of debris and the wreck being cut up for scrap. The man with silver hair and without a hat, who is in view from 7.39 minutes, is Captain R.S. Luly who was the Wahine’s Chief Officer. After the enquiry he became master of the salvage vessel Holmpark, seen moored alongside the wreck. The footage from 14 minutes onwards shows the bridge of the Wahine being lifted out of the sea and taken ashore by the crane ship Hikitia after divers cut it away from the wreck.The Wahine’s funnel is seen coming ashore at Wellington aboard the crane ship Hikitia at 20.29 minutes onwards. Then, from 21.08 minutes, part of the Wahine’s bow is seen also being brought ashore by the Hikitia.

Wahine footage video 5

This video contains scenes of the wreck of the Wahine, salvage operations, memorials to the dead and interviews with people who took part in rescue work on 10 April 1968. The man interviewed from 18.04 minutes is Mr Fergus Macfarlane, who at the time was head of the Union Steam Ship Company, owner of the Wahine. His wife Mrs Tui Macfarlane launched the Wahine at Govan on the Clyde River in Scotland, where the ship was built, on 14 July 1965.


Wahine photo gallery

These six beautiful colour photos of TEV Wahine, showing her at the interisland terminal in Lyttelton harbour during the winter of 1967, were taken by Michael Hope and professionally restored by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

The photos are the copyright of Michael Hope and Royce Flynn, and are not to be reproduced without their prior permission.

If you have photos of the Wahine you'd like to contribute to this website, please email Murray Robinson at landmrobinson@paradise.net.nz

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The following three photos show TEV Wahine berthed at the interisland terminal in Wellington during the Labour Day long holiday weekend of October 1966. They were taken by David Rutledge and professionally restored by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

The photos are the copyright of David Rutledge and Royce Flynn, and are not to be reproduced without their prior permission.

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The following photos, held by the Wellington City Archives, show TEV Wahine's engines. They are not to be reproduced without the prior permission of the Wellington City Archives. All have been professionally restored by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz


Wahine engine

This is either the Wahine's port or starboard main turbine-alternator set, manufactured by a firm called Associated Electrical Industries Ltd, or AEI, at their heavy engineering works in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. In this photo, taken inside the AEI factory, the steam turbine (centre and left) coupled to its alternator (right) has been fully assembled for testing. Once tests are completed, both turbine-alternator sets will be dismantled and moved by rail to the Fairfield shipyard at Govan in Scotland, where they will be hoisted into the Wahine's main turbo-alternator room and re-assembled there. Each turbine was a single cylinder, high-pressure, horizontal impulse type with 13 stages, rotating at 3,080 rpm for a maximum output of 9,000 shaft horse power. The alternators each supplied 6,900 kW of electricity for driving the Wahine's two electric propulsion motors, one on each propeller shaft. The square box mounted on top of the alternator houses an electric fan for air cooling. Note the steam venting into the factory roof above the high-pressure inlet pipe marked “hot.” A timber walkway has been built around the turbine-alternator set, so that technicians can monitor closely its performance during testing. One of them is standing on the factory floor at right.
Wellington City Archives. 2006;15_6_330-007. Photo restored by by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Wahine engine

Another view, taken inside the AEI factory at Rugby in Warwickshire, England showing one of the Wahine's two main turbine-alternator sets being run at full power while under test. At right, inside its large steel case, is the alternator while at left, also enclosed in its casing, is the steam turbine driving the alternator to make electricity. Steam is being supplied to the turbine from boilers located elsewhere in the factory. The high-pressure steam inlet pipe is above the head of the technician at far left; he is watching the gauges on the main inlet valve in front of him. The turbine is mounted on top of its steam condenser, which lies hidden below the timber walkway. Note the many cables on the walkway, linking the turbine-alternator set with the monitoring gear set up at lower left.
Wellington City Archives. 2006;15_6_330-008. Photo restored by by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Wahine engine

This photo, taken on the Wahine's engine manoeuvring platform, shows some of the gauges and controls for the Wahine's engines. There was no direct control from the Wahine's bridge; engine orders instead were conveyed to the engineers on watch using the telegraphs one of which is in the foreground. The engineers then manipulated these controls to give the required engine speed and direction, forward or astern. On the morning of 10 April 1968, as Captain Robertson battled to turn the Wahine back out to sea and away from Barrett Reef, the engineers stood here responding to the stream of engine orders coming down on the telegraphs from the bridge.
Wellington City Archives. 2006;15_6_330-001. Photo restored by by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Wahine engine

This is part of the Wahine's main electrical switchboard, located in her auxiliary turbo-alternator room. Side-by-side in this room were three turbo-alternator sets manufactured by AEI Ltd at their works in Rugby, England. Part of one of these is at left. Each set comprised a single cylinder, horizontal type, seven stage impulse steam turbine rotating at a maximum 8,518 rpm. Through double helical reduction gearing, each turbine was coupled to an alternator generating 650 kW of electricity for the ship's lighting and domestic needs plus her four lateral thruster units. The electricity from these alternators was fed into the main switchboard, which then distributed it throughout the ship.
Wellington City Archives. 2006;15_6_330-003. Photo restored by by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Wahine engine

Looking through an open water-tight door in the bulkhead between the Wahine's after boiler room and her auxiliary turbo-alternator room in the foreground. High-pressure steam pipes, heavily insulated with white asbestos lagging, can be seen through the door. TEV Wahine had two boiler rooms each of which housed two Foster-Wheeler oil fired, forced draft marine boilers manufactured by Fairfield-Rowan Ltd of Govan, Glasgow. Each boiler produced super-heated steam for the turbines at 600 psi and a temperature of 850 deg F, with three boilers fired and on line at any one time to provide for all needs. A fuel oil purifier can be seen at right, through the door.
Wellington City Archives. 2006;15_6_330-006. Photo restored by by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Wahine engine

This photo again was taken inside the heavy engineering works at AEI Ltd of Rugby, Warwickshire, England where the Wahine's engines were manufactured. It shows close-up detail of one of the main steam turbines under testing, prior to being dismantled and railed to Govan on the River Clyde in Scotland where it will be installed aboard the Wahine. Wellington City Archives. 2006;15_6_330-002. Photo restored by by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Wahine engine

A view taken inside one of the Wahine's engine compartments showing high-pressure steam lines heavily insulated with white-painted asbestos lagging (at top and sides of the photo). On the bulkhead in the centre of the photo are oil fuel lines for each of the ship's four steam boilers. Wellington City Archives. 2006;15_6_330-004. Photo restored by by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Night departure

Wahine with seagulls on a summer night's departure from Wellington. Stephen Berry collection.

Smoking room

Inside the Wahine's smoke room amidships on B Deck. Hundreds of passengers waited in here, dressed in their lifejackets, throughout the morning of 10 April 1968. Wellington City Archives image 801123745. Photo restored by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Smoking room

Another view from inside the Wahine's smoke room on B Deck, showing the bar with its counter. This was located aft on the smoke room's starboard side. Wellington City Archives image 801123633. Photo restored by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Lounge

Inside the entrance to the Wahine's general lounge, aft on A Deck. Wellington City Archives image 801123745. Photo restored by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Lounge

Another view of the Wahine's general lounge on A Deck. The windows on either side of the television set look over the ship's stern. On the morning of 10 April 1968 this room was also crowded with passengers in their life jackets. From the windows they watched the unsuccessful attempt made by the tug Tapuhi to tow the Wahine. Wellington City Archives image 801123745. Photo restored by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Lounge

The passenger cafeteria aboard the Wahine, aft on B Deck. This is where Mr Clive Goodenough and his wife were having breakfast on the morning of 10 April 1968 as the Wahine went onto Barrett Reef, as described in Survivor Accounts on this website. Wellington City Archives image 801123701. Photo restored by Royce Flynn of www.flynnexpress.co.nz

Copyright © 2012 Murray Robinson www.thewahine.co.nz


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