Arizona – Where Is She + CYA Heritage Basin

ARIZONA – Where Is She

Todays photos were sent in by woody John Dawson and show the 1914, 36’ launch – Arizona. John commented that Arizona had gone into hiding after supposedly being in storage somewhere in West Auckland. The last photo may or may not be of the West Auckland location.

In her day Arizona was a fine looking craft and we would love to hear that she is still around and either awaiting a restoration or even better, its underway.

So woodys can anyone enlighten us on the status of Arizona.


Last week it was asked on WW if anyone had any news on the NZ Classic Yacht Association and the executive committees determination to negotiate with Panuku and the Maritime Museum to establish a new waterfront marina (working title Heritage Basin) in Auckland that would provide pepper-corn rental berths for selected classic yachts. We had several phone calls – overview below:

1. Panuku are extremely gun-shy of anything that might be viewed as ill-conceived given the current economic climate and reported mayoral budget priorities. More than one ‘in-the-know’ person commented “its dead in the water”.

2. Seems the CYA’s committee are at loggerheads on the venture. In recent months three committee members have resigned – the vice chair, the yacht captain and a general committee member. This follows two committee members tabling their resignation in the 2021/22 year. Interestingly a CYA member who is a stickler for governance and protocol pointed out that the empty vice chair and yacht captain roles were filled by asking two CYA members to fill the positions. They felt that given the blurred membership status on the new yacht only marina, maybe a request for nominations from the wider CYA membership would have been a more appropriate decision. Whilst we can understand why people resign, sadly it only strengthens the views of the people they were at loggerheads with e.g. their voice / vote is lost and you would have to be very naive to think that when targeting replacements you wouldn’t look for people that shared your views. Saying that we are very encouraged by the appointment of Russell Brooke as replacement vice chair.

(and for the record – all of the above has been reviewed by a friendly legal adviser, so to quoted that person – “you are on thick ice”)

UPDATE – Now I know that only a % of you regularly read the comments section on each WW story, so I have re-posted todays post from Russell Brooke below.

On many fronts I’m buoyant to read Russell’s input to the WW story – the two primary reasons being:

1. Its pleasing to receive correspondence from the CYA on the the subject of the Heritage Basin project, in recent times it has been impossible to get any factual information on the topic – so well done Mr Brooke to stepping up to the mark.

2. Russell’s comment on all matters raised are – insightful, knowledgable and sage. I will enter into 2023 with high hopes that our movement can become again what it deserves to be. I’ll keep you posted 😉

“Thanks for the vote of confidence Alan. 

A short while ago I was writing to CYA about an issue (not the heritage basin) when I realised that in a storm help was needed more than yelling from the sideline. So I volunteered. The vice chair was the empty seat, and because I had chaired CYA many years ago during a difficult phase the team felt that was where I should sit.

I would urge you to welcome Tom Bertenshaw on to the committee. You and I have spoken before about the need for the “young to fall in love with these boats” if they are to have a future. I am stoked my daughter and her partner are loving Linda. The talk of the town now is Innismara and her young crew. Just brilliant! Tom brings that voice onto the committee.

I must also say how impressed I am with the people on the current committee – experienced, diverse and levelheaded. Our chair, Richard, is a wonderful man who is working incredibly hard behind the scenes. This committee is the opposite of divided, and the ability to have respectful robust conversation is, I believe,  a sign of its ability. 

Re Heritage Basin – There are rumours flying everywhere. We can all see what is going on in Auckland. Despite all that my view is that we need to have a Heritage Basin brief ticking away or ready to go. The new committee received the draft brief yesterday and it is scheduled for discussion at the February meeting. My personal thinking though is that the next months are really busy for CYA, and if there is no urgency for the Basin we may well defer it until we have time to get the cart back behind the horse and produce a project brief that is supported by all the classic boating fraternity. Then we can seize any opportunity.

Of bigger concern to me is where are all the small yachts? A major part of the 30s to 50s yachting scene in NZ was all the small keel boats and backyard boat builders. I would love to see this fleet develop. It may be that racing is not the thing and that more “dinghy raid” type activities are better. Love to hear from skippers of these boats.

I’ve taken a bit of your page – hope it helps. Happy to catch up regularly with you for a Q &A on the forum if that helps build our Classic Boat community.” Russell Brooke