The above photos of Taiaroa were taken by boat builder Colin Brown while she was hauled out on the hardstand at Wellington. Colin was in the capital for the re-launching of Little Tasman. Colin & his team undertook the magnificent restoration of Little Tasman at his Omaha yard. photos emailed to me by Ken Ricketts.

What do we know about Talaroa? – certainly looks like a southern boat with a work boat past.

Input From Russell Ward

Rumored to have been a rowing boat carried on one of the RNZN ships whose name I forget. Someone said she had been steam, but never IMHO. Motor boat certainly – a Standard or Union. Most probably a local Dunedin fishing boat –not Miller and Tunnage I don’t think –they wouldn’t have been formed when she was built.

Became an OHB workboat around 1940 and later and later passed to the Sea Cadets in Dunedin and then came to Wellington in the 1970’s?.

Owned by Sam Hunt for a time and kept by his live in boat shed –he probably generated the lively colour scheme.

Fell into indifferent ownership and was slowly going downhill at Evans Bay Marina.

I met her maybe four years back when the owner had just died (on board?) and his brother wanted to sell her. A bit of a mess and bought by a good soul who put her up at the hard stand and doesn’t seem to have progressed much.

Photos below at varying times in her life. Acknowledgements to esteemed members of the Workboat Study Group.





14-07-2017 – Photo of Lonaero – as mentioned in Cameron Pollard’s note in the ww comments section .




11 thoughts on “Taiaroa

  1. The old Marine Department survey records in Wellington indicate that Taiaroa was built in 1907 by John McLellan in Dunedin. The records state that Taiaroa was first surveyed for the Otago Harbour Board in 1931. What she was doing before this is not revealed in the survey records. However I have heard it said she was a motor launch attached to the Amokura, but this surely needs to be confirmed. The year of build 1907 does correspond well with the year of 1906 that Amokura was commissioned by New Zealand. But Taiaroa looks rather big to be carried on board Amokura. Perhaps a myth, but worth checking.


  2. PS Named after Taiaroa Heads of course or even maybe after Jack Taiaroa, the famous rugby player, a member of the 1884 New Zealand team, who was drowned on the harbour in January 1908.


  3. OHB had her on strength as early as 1924. My feeling is that she was built for them c1907. Too early for Miller & Tunnage but possibly Millers, Knewstubb Bros or Jas M’Pherson.


  4. TAIAROA (not TALAROA) was built in 1907 for the Otago Harbour Board for many years. The OHB sold her in 1972 and she was used by the Sea Cadets in Wellington from c1985. I can’t find out who built her (in a hurry) but would pick Millers at Port Chalmers or Jas McPherson in Dunedin.


  5. TAIAROA (not Talaroa).Has been in Wellington for many years, at one time attached to the local Sea Cadet unit. May have originally been steam powered.


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