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MPV Otunui 

Otunui in March 2008 : Photo by kind courtesy of Phil Barnes

Built by Yarrow in London in 1907 as a propellor driven oil driven ship, she underwent various chanes over the years, and was out of service for many years after sinking in 1949. She was reported as having been from 60 ft to 50 ft when sold in 1961 and restored for use as a transport for agricultural produce. In this form she was known as "Tangahoe". In 1972 she was partially wrecked when she was driven on to a shingle bed near Pipiriki in a storm. She was rebuilt as a passenger ship with diesel power and put into service on the Whanganui River but quickly moved to the Waikato River. Amazingly, in 1982, new owners moved her to Lake Okataina and fitted paddle wheels. Her less than successful career continued and she was brought back to the Whanganui under another new owner in 1984 where she stayed for the next four years, but under various owners over the period. Back on the Waikato she was more of a success, but under new owners once again in 2002 she was refitted and looking set for a good future until seriously damaged by fire in 2003. She was rebuilt, and sailed to Paeroa on the Waihou River in 2006.

She has been operating on Lake Whakamaru, a long narrow sheltered water formed by a dam on the Waikato River and then was based at the Waimarino Adventure Park at Tauranga under the ownership of Peter Koole from 2009-2015
The boat was subsequently sold in June 2015 as the owner pulled out of the business
Use of the boat since the sale is unknown

More photos of Otunui courtesy of Phil Barnes :

Otunui's Paddle box shows her origin clearly
Otunui in 2008
Otunui in 1999
At speed near the Huka Falls, Waikato River
At Huka falls in 1999

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