1954: Hauiti wrecked

MV Hauiti
MV Hauiti brought construction materials for the new hotel at Milford Sound in 1952. Photo: Clyde Williams

On 24 April 1954, the 156-ton coastal motor ship Hauiti struck Awash Rocks near Brothers Island in Cook Strait while on a passage from Motueka to Wellington. She reportedly sank in 30 minutes.

Her master was able to raise Wellington Radio ZLW and the nine crew were rescued from their lifeboat by the Union Steam Ship Company collier Kokiri.

Kokiri was under the command of Captain Gordon Robertson, better known in later years as the master of the ferry Wahine in 1968 when she was wrecked in a storm with the loss of 51 lives.

About Hauiti

Official No.: 130093
Built: 1911
Builder: G Niccol, Auckland (Engines taken from the burned-out Kapanui)
Owner: Northern Steam Ship Company, sold in 1947 to South Westland Shipping Company and converted from steam to diesel power.
Wrecked: 24 April 1954, Awash Rocks, Cook Strait