Wellington has had quite low powered tugs at times mostly which is strange given the occasional savage Cook Strait winds I guess the small tidal range and the predominance of Northerly and Southern breezes made high power unimportant. The USSCo ran the tugs.
Recall that Auckland had the Auckland Harbour Board set up by some very smart businessmen, like William Crush Daldy, who sought to provide services at break even so as to encourage use of the port and to assist commerce for a growing country. They had lots of commercial real estate vested in the port to earn income too. But, with the de- regulation of the port, the accountants stepped in, flicked off all the assets and stuffed that dream up. She was business from now on.
From 1907 to 1947 they had Terawhiti and 1926 to 1955 they had a good powerful tug in the Toia but from then for a time just the two Empire Class tugs Tapahui and Tiaoma. They seemed to wake up to their needs after the Wahine disaster.
Here is the Natone -a wee wooden steamer.
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The Natone was purchased on the stocks in 1900 by the USSCo. She was 73 tons and built in wood. She served until 1947 when the Taioma and Tapuhi arrived. She returned to Australia in '47 and was wrecked in Wide Bay 1957
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Don't know what is happening above left -an extreme stability test. The picture to the left is the ferry Cobar -couldn't resist it -it has so much feeling in it.
Here is the Terawhiti. She looked to me a seriously meaningful tug. She was built in 1907 by Ramage & Ferguson, Leith. Length 120ft 2ins Beam 24ft 1in Draft 11ft 8ins 260 GRT . She was twin screw TE 90 nap coal fired,
She was used mainly as a harbour tug at Wellington but undertook various salvage tasks on many mishaps around the country.
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In 1947. she was sold to Australian Steamships Ltd, Melbourne and was sunk following a collision with the City of Khartoum September 1950. She was raised in 1951 and scrapped. This photo was taken when Terawhiti departed on a "harbour excursion" in the 1930's, probably for employees of the Union Company.
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And following are the two Empire Class WW2 tugs. UK built, they ended up in Hong Kong after the war's end and were bought by the Union Steam Ship Co for service in NZ. Empire Jane was renamed Taioma and Empire Shirley was renamed Tapahui. They were 34.4 x 9, Oil fired Scotch boiler and single screw. Very shippy though sort of spoiled by the box atop the wheelhouse.
Tapuhi figured in the Wahine disaster initially unsuccessfully trying to tow the ship in impossible conditions. She rescued 170 passengers when conditions moderated.
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Tapuhi to the left and below left with her sister. Taioma
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From 1947 - 77, Taioma was employed in Wellington and from '75 -77 she was used by BP for towing oil barges. She was donated to the Tauranga Historic Village and with a big hiss and a roar, Bob Owens paid to get her hauled ashore for display.
Alas, a ship out of water is but a strangely shaped building and the maintenance fell behind. There was an abortive attempt to sell her engine for far too much and she was eventually reflected and ceremoniously scuttled as a dive feature on 27 March 2000. Sic trans gloria old tugs.
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Tapuhi stayed with the WHB a little longer than her twin being sold in 1976 and, now named Tui Tawate, she participated in recovery operations on the SS President Coolidge that was lost in Vanuatu in 1942. She was bought to serve as a restaurant in Wellington as a memorial of the sinking of the Wahine but could not return because her condition was not up to the trip. She was abandoned in Espiritu Santo and was sunk near the Coolidge in 1978.
It fell to the Auckland Harbour Board tug Aucklander to suffer the ignominity of being eviscerated and uglified, made into a restaurant and renamed Tapuhi in her stead. Aucklander is up for sale by the way but of no particular interest to us now.

A viking's funeral might have been better for all these boats.