A B-type Fairmile design, Motunui began her life in the Second World War New Zealand motor launch flotilla serving in the Solomon Islands. She was launched as HMNZS Q406.
Sold in 1947 for £1,255 to a Dunedin businessman R Farry who renamed the boat Rodney Farry and offered excursion on Otago Harbour.
By December 1948 the vessel was on the Waitematā Harbour, doing fishing trips and outings to Motuihe and Pine Island. H L Daveney bought the boat, renamed it New Venture in 1949, and only three months later sold it to the Waiheke Steamship Company. They renamed her Motunui and started running to Waiheke, becoming the main ferry on this service until Iris Moana took over the primary role in 1966.
Motunui did the Waiheke run until 1982, and was also substituted on the Devonport and Great Barrier and Kawau Island services.
Hull built of: Wood
Owners: North Shore ferries 1965-1981; Devonport Steam Ferry Group of Companies, 1981-1982
Built by: Associated Boat Builders in 1943
Length: 107 feet
Beam: 18 feet
Gross tons: 147
Engines: 2 x 6-cyinder diesel, GM, USA