Te Rauparaha

Te Rauparaha was built by Chas. Bailey and Sons Ltd in 1938 for Harry Mills and was requisitioned in WWII as coastal patrol on the Northland Coast bearing the insignia of Q07. Te Rauparaha represented a departure to a more ‘contemporary look’ for the Bailey yard, featured in her beam and obvious elegance. She was 55 feet overall (53’4” on the waterline) and her bow was 14ft off the water and sported a magnificent flair, that can be seen on the later, albeit in reduced proportions, vessels that followed Te Rauparaha out of the yard.
Harry Mills turned over the ownership and running of Te Rauparaha to his fourth son Graeme (my father) in about 1962/3 and she was, until the late 1970’s our much-loved family vessel. I was practically bought up on her and still hold a half model of her crafted for my grandfather by Charles Bailey jnr.
Te Rauparaha was, for some years in New Caledonia where they ran tourist excursions with her. Her name was changed to M V ‘Tamara’. I do not believe that she is in New Zealand waters, but stand corrected on that. However, should anyone have any information as to her current whereabouts, and any other information, the Mills-Hillyer family would be very pleased.
The images above of our much loved family vessel are:
a) Sea trials off Brown Bay post launching.
b) As Q07 during wartime.
c) A more contemporary version (from my childhood) moored in Smokehouse Bay, sporting a flying bridge that my father had built in the 1960s.
Story & photos ex Pamela Hillyer, Harry Mills’ granddaughter
Harold Kidd Update
A true “Express Cruiser”, TE RAUPARAHA was the product of the late flowering of Chas. Bailey Jr’s genius, exemplified too by his design of the 94ft ketch NEW GOLDEN HIND for his old customer H.R. Jenkins (SHENANDOAH, 1929),which was built by Deeming Bros of Opua in 1939 and several outstanding sweet-lined contemporary fishing boats like KATOA, JOAN and MARGARET.
TE RAUPARAHA was fitted with twin 110hp Buda diesels which were becoming very popular at the time, supplied by Seabrook Fowlds and fitted by Allely Bros. They were replaced with Graymarines after her extensive wartime patrol work in WW1, often well off the Northland coast.
A motor launch to make the pulses race if ever there was one!
Update 22/05/13 – this is scary, just posted the above & CYA member Andrew Pollard (Aumoe) spots her for sale on trademe, appears to be in Noumea, listed yesterday click link to view http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=595731758
Update from John Senior
Mark williams and myself delivered her from Auckland to Noumea in 1979 to a kiwi owner who lived there and ran a buisnes of taking tourists out to Amede Light. She had extra seating installed and carried 80 pasengers, i think from memory she had two Grey Marine 6 cylinder diesels. It was a good trip taking 4 days to the hour.

19 thoughts on “Te Rauparaha

  1. Pingback: Te Rauparaha | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. My father and Mr Mills son (not too sure of his name) were friends and spent many hours on the Te Rauparaha. My father was a builder and lived in Browns Bay and in his spare time also built boats. Through my fathers family I am related to the Baileys.
    I have a very old, but good photo of this launch and would very much like to find a ‘family’ home for it. Posted to WW.


  3. I was the Broker that sold her for the Mills family to Rick brown , car dealer , Grey Lynn, Athol Ruston was in the loop that sold her to New Caledonia.


  4. Our family owned Te Rauparaha in the 70’s, a fact not mentioned in the above dialogue. We had a mooring at the Mana Cruising Club in Paremata and spent many holidays aboard her, cruising the Sounds, French Pass and Nelson areas. A beautiful vessel. Sad to see it altered to an unrecognisable degree. Our father sold her in 1979. Margaret Goldie


  5. Pingback: Te Rauparaha QO7 – Gets A Make-Over | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  6. I love what is written about “Te Rauparaha”.I am typing up my mother’s, June Stych nee Roulston, childhood memories and she has fond memories of visiting the Mills family in Browns Bay (and reading all the boys comics which she – as a girl- wasn’t allowed to buy in 1930-40’s). Thank you.Beverley Cooper


  7. She was at Paremata, moored in the Harbour channel by the Mana Cruising Club in the 1970’s. Her then owners were Bob and Win Goldie.


  8. I note a conflict in the reports of Te Rauparaha’s later name. One report says Tamara but the photos from Trademe says Samara. I take it that the latter was the correct name and that she was never named Tamara. I would appreciate any advice if this is wrong.


  9. Comment from Ken Ricketts (having posting problems)

    “What a magnificent part of our heritage Te Rauparaha is, I remember her so very well ,at Hobson Bay adjacent to Deborah Bay & Karamana, looking tall majestic & elegant, from 1946, into the 50s or 60s, when the Mills owned her. A magnificent & distinctively individual boat, in every respect. — There has simply never been anything else like her, that I’ve seen.

    I only knew her with the built in flying bridge, & the GM/Gray 671’s.

    I have a recollection of seeing her in the Wellington Plimmerton area, in the later 60s or 70s.

    Wonderful to see the pics of her life, & to learn about the Budas & the original flying bridge.

    Am so thrilled she is still alive, & it seems physically well, — but where on earth did they dream those present combings, — in my view they are terrible, especially after the wonderful symmetry she had originally.

    I really hope so very much that some person, or syndicate, will bring her back to us here, & reinstate her original beauty, & get rid of the terrible present top she has.

    More power to your elbow Harold, in suggesting the syndicate concept. I’m sure all of us classic boat lovers support you, in this possible scenario & proposal. — Were you thinking of being a starter yourself for any syndicate, as your love & desire for original perfection, would be invaluable for input in to her future?

    A big thank you, to you, Pamela Hiller, from me, for bringing her beauty to us all, as you have, with these fab photos.”


  10. We were nearly swamped by a magnificent Te Rauparaha when leaving Pine Harbour marina one afternoon. That would have been early 1980’s as we had our 1935 Col Wild launch ‘Royal Saxon’ at that time.


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