1943 - Motunui

Many name changes

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.

Vital stats

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

Draft: 6.6feet

Gross tons: 147

Engines: 2 x 6-cyinder diesel, GM, USA

Passengers/crew: 226/3

  • <p>Motunui arriving at Matiatia in the 1950s. <em>David Balderston, The Waiheke Ferries of Auckland.</em></p>
  • <p>Matiatia Bay, late 1960s. <em>Bruce Croll collection.</em></p>