ANITA BAY / TE REPO REPO / MAHARATIA
photo & details ex Paul Drake
The above photo of a woody on a truck is the launch Te Repo Repo that was at Taupo in the 1960’s, run by the Tourist Hotel Corporation. Paul is pretty confident that her skipper was the Internal Affairs Harbour Master. Whilst at Taupo she was called Te Repo Repo but previously she came from the South Island, where she was called Anita Bay. Paul thinks that this was probably her “as built” name.
Copy of flyer below, promoting her services ex Harold Kidd
Photo below ex Ken Ricketts & B Worthington
I have to say given how beautiful she was, the more recent photo of her below is a little sad, sure someone now as a boat that they probably enjoy, but we have lost a classic along the way 😦
MAJOR UPDATE 07-08-2015
details ex Paul Drake, Ken Ricketts, Harold Kidd, Russell Ward, Jimmy Thomson, Caitlyn Beazley, Troy Searle. Extensively edited by Alan H
This story grew from a single photo sent in by Paul Drake & with the help of the above people has morphed into a comprehensive record of the the vessells past. In the interests of the recorded facts & woodys reading pleasure I have attempted to pull it all together as one. If I get something wrong – let me know 🙂 Alan H
Maharatia was launched in 1947 from the Auckland yard of Roy Lidgard, her hull was entirely built to deck level on a concrete slab at their property in Smeltering House Bay, Kawau Island. They bought, dismantled & shipped a shed from the mainland, to put over her, this shed is still there today (photos below). This became the shed where the Lidgard’s built & maintained many boats after Maharatia.
The hull was towed to Auckland where she was put in their Auckland shed, to be completed (photos below of shed, Maharatia is top left in the 1st photo).
She was built for the Birch family of the Tauranga region in the Bay of Plenty who were farmers & the boat was named after their farm, named Maharatia, which means “memories” in Maori.
According to Jimmy Thomson (close family friend of the Lidgards) she only remained in Tauranga for a fairly short time & actually spent most of her life during the Birches stewardship in Smelter House Bay at Kawau. They were however keen fisher people & she was used in Tauranga fairly extensively for game & other fishing in her early days apparently, note the number on her bow in some of the older photos.
In the 1960’s she was sold to the Government & went to Taupo. It would almost certainly have been the Govt., as owners who first changed her name from Maharatia to Te Repo Repo. Her skipper whilst at Taupo was the Internal Affairs Harbour Master, Lt.Cmdr. Pete Petersen, RNZNVR, who was Harbour Master from 1955 until 1978. Back in those days, he was it – just him and his Imperial typewriter.
After her time at Taupo, the Govt. then trucked her to Tauranga & sailed her to Milford Sound, to the Milford Tourist Hotel Corporation hotel & while there her name changed again, to Anita Bay.
She was damaged whilst there & taken to Bluff for repairs & sold to a Keith Wright, who took her to Whangarei, where he had a tow boat business & he used her in association with this & also for local tourist trips. She was quite badly damaged on a trip to an exploratory oil platform he was associated with, during his ownership.
Wright later sold her to Bruce Davies, also of Whangarei, who replaced the original Buda diesels with the 2 LX Gardners which she still has today. He later sold her Lawrence McCleod, who owned her for approx. 25 years. It was McCleod who changed her name to Anita Bay IV, for reasons of liquor licensing for tourism use. He took her the Kaipara initially, where he used her for that purpose, as this is where he was living. When he later moved to Snells Beach he took her to the Sandspit, which was in the mid 1980s. He sold her to Dave Searle of Warkworth in 2013. She had not been used for a number of years when bought by Dave Searle.
She is presently in Steve Grice’s shed at Omaha & being given an extensive restoration by the classic artisan boatbuilder, Colin Brown. The restoration will be to her original concept more or less & she is going to go back to her original name of Maharatia. She will have completely refurbished engines (photos below). Ken reports that the ‘upstairs wheelhouse’ put on by the Government when they owned her has gone along with her funnel – we like that 🙂 Restoration photos below ex Ken Ricketts
Her present owners have promised to keep ww updated on the work so fingers crossed we will be able to follow the project.
Update -8-08-2015 Seeing Double ?
OK folks heres a curly one – I received an email last night from David Balderston & he puts forward a very good case that there were/are two Anita Bay’s – read on
Fascinating post of Anita Bay. I note the para where it is stated that she went to Milford. However, I think that Anita Bay at Milford is a different ship and your Anita Bay went to the Kaipara.
In the 1980s, I became aware of an Anita Bay running for the old THC at Milford. She was used to bring the survivors who had made it over the Milford Track across to the hotel at Milford. I actually adjusted her compass in the early 1990s. Here are two photos of her at Milford, March 1992 and 7/7/92. Note she has no port holes and I reckon her bow is straighter, in any case she looks far different to the one in your post.
I visited the Kaipara in February 1998 and took these two snaps of Anita Bay at Helensville , could not get closer, rather a large dog. Note in the second snap the signpost advertising her tours, how faint it has become, which would perhaps indicate she had been operating there a while.
The final item is from my scrap book, with two adverts of the Kaipara Anita Bay, dated 1988 and 31/1/90.
Therefore I submit that there were (are) two Anita Bays.
08-08-2015 Input from Denis O’Callahan, owner of the Colin Wild launch Tasman. Ian reports he walked the track in April 2014 and Anita Bay was still on the run to Sandfly Point picking up trampers.
You can recognize her comparing Denis’s photo with David Balderston’s.
04-12-2015 Input from Ray Morey
‘Anita Bay’ was hauled out at Tauranga at Ray’s father in law’s , Sulpher Point yard on the ‘Eva’s’ cradle. This was right next to the roadway. She was lifted onto the house removers rig by a mobile crane from the Ministry of Works which was working on the Mt Maunganui Port extensions. She was not at Taupo for very long, maybe 2 years at the most and came back the same way. Ray’s recollections are that Keith Wright delivered her to Steve Petty who had taken over the “Kingfish Point” lodge at Whangaroa,(there may have been a T.H.C. connection there.)
She was the general service launch there for quite a few years. There was no road access in those days. Keith Wright did have her later after he had sold out of the coastal tug and barge business. Ray is not too sure but thinks the aft wheelhouse was built and fitted in Auckland prior to going to Taupo but removed for the road trips.
07-03-2016 Update ex Ken R from Colin Brown’s shed
The 2 x 6LX Gardners are back in place, looking just like new. Her T & G cabin top has been removed & new T & G roofing will be used to correct the ‘holes’ left after the removal of her dry stack exhaust & the block of flats.
30-06-2016 Update from Ken R ex Colin Brown’s yard on her restoration + some old photos the late 1940’s – early 1950’s showing the hull leaving Smelting House Bay, Kawau Island & another of her being towed to Auckland for finishing off.