In the top photo we see Waitanguru in the Milford Creek, just off the AW Williams boatyard* in Omana Road, Milford. Waitanguru was a ‘Banshee’ design built by Williams. At the time of the photo the launch was owned by Gerry Dawson, he purchased her off Peter Peterson.
The November 1965 photos come to us from Lew Redwood’s fb and were taken by Dawn Heathwaite.. In the 2nd photo the kids on the jetty are Bill and Ian Heathwaite. Bill Heathwaite has commented that the photos were taken post a successful game fishing trip to Great Barrier Island. Bill’s father is holding the tail of a record breaking yellow-fin tuna he had caught. From recalls it was 135lb on a 30lb line.
The crew are L>R – skipper Gerry Dawson, Roy Heathwaite, Scotty, Alan Odell, Jim and Bruce Woods.
Do we know what became of Waitanguru?
* yard later became Geoff Bagnall’s and is now The Slipway – Milford. Interesting to view the area on the right of the shed that would be developed at the Milford Crusing Club haul-out yard.
CORRECTION : The yard is John Gladdens yard, the Allan Williams original yard was against the road and slip by the bridge. (thanks readers)
DOUBLE CORRECTION: Thanks to Nathan Herbert we learn the the spelling was wrong, the boat is Waitanguru and has featured on WW b4, link below
FYI – the WW section box only works on perfect spelling, so we did not pick this up 😉


Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 8.25.08 pm


Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 8.28.12 pmWAITANGURU

Waitanguru was built by Allan Williams in 1953 & measures approx. 33’ & has a 9’10” beam.

She is kauri carvel planked, & powered by 39 hp Yanmar diesel. Youll see from the trademe photos (thanks to Ian McDonald) that she is very well fitted out, & has been in survey.

Do we know anymore about her?

Input from Harold Kidd – WAITANGURU was built by Alan Williams for Petersen of Te Awamutu. She is 31′ x 11′ and had a 4cylinder Ford originally. She went first to Taupo then to Tauranga in 1966. Gerry Dawson of Caster Bay owned her in the 1970s and kept her at Milford. By 2001 she was owned back in Tauranga by Les and Pam Dawson and used for charter game fishing. A very able boat.

13-05-2018 Update from Ron Dawson 

Waitanguru was built in 1949 I beleive on spec and bought by Frank Peterson of Piopio in the King Country. He finished the boat and kept in Milford. My father bought the boat in 1967. In 1968 dad raised the dodger and kept Waitanguru in Milford until he sold the boat in 1988. The boat originally had a Coventry diesel motor which was replaced with a 60hp Ford diesel in the early to mid 60s. Dad replaced that motor to a 72hp Ford diesel late 60s.  Waitanguru went to Gulf Harbour for a couple of years and then to Taupo about 1990. I’m not to sure when the boat was moved to Tauranga. I do know Waitanguru had an outboard motor on the  stern trolling for trout on Lake Taupo. The boat length was 28 feet plus boarding platform. 

Waitanguru’s name comes from a place on the road from Piopio out to the coast at Marokopa in the King Country. 

04-05-2022 UPDATE – additional photos ex May 2022 trademe listing