Tutanekai

New Zealand Government steamer Tutanekai
Tutanekai at Harrison Cove, Milford Sound. in the 1920s. Photo: GH Edwards, Alexander Turnbull Library

The New Zealand government’s cable ship Tutanekai was fitted with wireless equipment in June 1912.

The installation of wireless apparatus on the Government cable steamer Tutanekai was completed on the 20th June 1912. The equipment has already proved valuable in aiding the work of repair of submarine cables.
– Post & Telegraph Department annual report, 1913

Crew from the government ship Tutanekai landing stores at Pencarrow lighthouse, 16 Feb 1923
Crew from the government ship Tutanekai landing stores at Pencarrow lighthouse, 16 Feb 1923. National Library of NZ

In 1924, Tutanekai provided New Zealand’s first demonstration of radio direction-finding, navigating from Auckland, through fog, to Tiritiri Matangi Island.