Union Australia

20th April 2005, 01:18
Built 1972 by Tohoku Zosen, Shiogama, Japan for Deep Sea Shipping Co. Ltd., Bermuda, a subsidiary of Maritime Carriers (N.Z.) Ltd.
3,166grt. 281' 7" x 50' 5" x 24' 5"
One of three identical Camit class ships - the other two being UNION NEW ZEALAND and UNION TRANS TASMAN - chartered by the Union Company for the trans Tasman trade. Initially chartered for ten years, the Company had an option to cancel after five years, which it did.
Maritime Carriers then sent the ship to Japan for conversion to carry containers and renamed her WAITAKI. She operated out of Auckland for the next few years alternating her calls between Melbourne and Sydney. That Company failed in late 1982 and she was then operated by the Union Company from 1983 to 1985 when she was withdrawn.
Handy ships, they carried paper from Tauranga across the Tasman quite often returning with bulk cargoes. On the New Zealand coast, they loaded bulk grain at Bluff and Timaru for northern ports and also took coal from Westport to Portland (near Whangarei) on a few occasions.
The photo shows her at Timaru freshly painted after a survey.

Jan Hendrik
20th April 2005, 01:51
I remember Maritime Carriers very well. Visited their head office in Auckland on Anzac Avenue and they were running few ships only including the WAITAKI.
They were my first contacts in NZ back in 1979 and in fact became the initial agents for the company I worked for.
Maritime Carriers even bought a hotel near the Strand.
WAITAKI used to dock on the slipway in Whangarei.
More memories but where are my photos...? Don't think I got any left.
Do you remember the names of the other 2 (?) ships of Maritime Carriers?

21st April 2005, 03:02
Another of the Camit class bulkers - the UNION NEW ZEALAND - entered the Maritime Carriers fleet at the end of her five year charter. She became the DUNEDIN on 22 Jan 1978, did a few voyages on the Tasman and some to Fiji, then went back to Union under charter yet again! They ran her until late 1981 mainly carrying bulk grain on the NZ coast, when she again went back to Maritime Carriers who were extending their presence on the Tasman. She started a new service from Napier and New Plymouth to Melbourne and Sydney (alternate voyages) until August 1982 when she was laid up in Auckland.
The WAITAKI under this revamped and extended schedule entered service between Wellington and Lyttelton (and occassionally Bluff) to Melbourne and Sydney (again alternate voyages). She laid up at Lyttelton in January 1983 and four months later went back to Union under charter!
To replace WAITAKI on the service from Auckland to Melbourne and Sydney, Maritime Carriers chartered a "Tackler" class ship - TACKLER DOSINIA - late in 1981 and renamed her TOTARA on her arrival in Australia from Europe.
A product of the Kasado Dock Co Ltd., Kudamatsu, Japan in 1979, the TOTARA was of 2,800 grt and 4,634dwt, with a capacity of 378 TEU on dimensions of 114.92 x 19.77 x 5.28. She had a travelling gantry crane of 30 tons capacity and her accommodation was right forward. In true modern ship fashion, she looked downright ugly (in my opinion).
Overall she was not a success and like her fleetmates ended her service in late 1982, with - guess who - the Union Company taking over her charter. They had no use for her and she languished at a lay-up berth in Auckland until August 1983 when Union sent off to Singapore, dropping cargo off at Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle on the way.
Where she or the other two Camit class ships are now, I have no idea. Maybe someone can complete their story for us.
Photos below show both the DUNEDIN (on the left) and the TOTARA laid up in Auckland.

Chris Field
24th April 2005, 08:11
It is great to see so much info about one's old ships- thank you David Shepherd!
However, as one-time Mate of the Totara I cannot agree that she was either ugly or useless- we even brought over the first shipment of brand-new Honda cars to NZ. Re her appearance- an Aussie mate once called me on VHF to check which way we were heading, they hadn't got into this business of having the accommodation forward...

24th April 2005, 12:17
Oooops..........you never can tell who might appear in here!! It was merely my opinion of her being ugly (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc, etc) and I didn't mean to imply she was useless!! It was the failure of her operators, not the ship, that led to her withdrawal.
All that aside, glad you enjoyed a little bit of nostalgia!

7th June 2005, 16:48
Just putting the finishing pics into my website,lots of NZ shipping photos.

Dave Edge
8th June 2005, 10:27
"Union New Zealand"/"Dunedin" was sold to Cia Nav. Chirikawa S.A. of Manila and renamed "Chipmunk". In 1998 she was broken up in Manila.
"Union Australia"/"Waitaki" was sold in 1985 to the same company and renamed "Gopher" and is still sailing as such.
A third 'Camit' class, "Union Transtasman", was sold in 1977 and renamed "Arnon", in 1985 renamed "Cape Evros", 1987 renamed "Protoporos", 1999 renamed "Gorgo" and, as far as I know, is still afloat under that name.

11th June 2005, 12:00
Thanks for that Dave - I often wonder what happened to them.

Jan Hendrik
11th June 2005, 14:56
Good stories about Maritime Carriers. I cannot remember the name of the General Manager at the time (around 1980), but Chris Field would know and also we met Chris, either with Maritime Carriers or Pacific Forum Line (or both)
I was selling the paint.....

Chris Field
24th June 2005, 22:07
Sorry about the delay in replying- yes Jan I remember having met you once. Strangely- I can't remember the nme of the GM- though I could take you to his house in Remuera! PS Those first cars I mentioned earlier were Hyundai, not Hondas- I had to show the wharfies in Auckland how to ensure nil traffic jams by getting a VERY specific car off first...
Good memories of great times- thanks to all for the updates

Jan Hendrik
25th June 2005, 08:17
Chris, I think you also know Doug Elliott, after 28 years with our company as Techn Mgr, then he got injured 3 years ago and left on workers compo, never came back.
He is still alright but now home and minding his garden, he is 61.
He used to supervise the drydockings, first in line and he loved going to NZ.
Not for the "grand whites" as he only ever drank orange juice. Nice guy and has been excellent for our company throughout so many years.

26th June 2005, 00:22
Maritime Carriers (NZ) Ltd was another Tsvi Vered Rosenfeld (of ABC Containerline "fame") venture - started in 1972.

I believe that Hajo Hinrichs was the general manager in New Zealand - he ended up in Antwerp in ABC days, he was certainly there in "TNT Express" days.



Jan Hendrik
26th June 2005, 00:26
Yes Rosenfeld was very much involved, however the G.M. in 1979-1981 was NZ or English guy, British sounding name anyway, not Hinrichs as he might have been the Tech Mgr.

Chris Field
13th December 2005, 21:39
Yes Rosenfeld was very much involved, however the G.M. in 1979-1981 was NZ or English guy, British sounding name anyway, not Hinrichs as he might have been the Tech Mgr.
No, a gentleman of Indian extraction as I remember- but all the day-to-day stuff was handled by a Dutch chap, with Capt. Don Handley occasionally in the office as well. Altogether, a great little company to work for and I was very disappointed when they sold out (the more so as I was studying for my Master's ticket at the time, fully expecting to return with it at a higher level...)

19th December 2005, 03:34
In 1973-75 when i was 2/O on 'Union Aotearoa, managed by Union Co., and manned with deck officers from Union Company and Engineers from Maritime Carriers . Hulsegge was Manager , Heindricks was Marine Super.and Joe Brookes was Super Engineer I think as he replaced Otto Leitner owners rep onboard for one voyage .

Lindsay Butterfield (Butters)

Chris Field
19th December 2005, 19:07
Lindsay, I seem to remember that we did Masters together in Auckland 1982- am I right or has alzheimers set in ?

19th December 2005, 21:45
Chris ,

I was Stevedore Manager at Napier for NZS, when you were with PFL

Lindsay Butterfield

Jan Hendrik
20th December 2005, 04:04
Especially for Chris and Mike.

I now got the name of the General Manager whom we could not recall, my secretary at work (ex-secretary) looked it up as we still had old data, now going back to the 1979-1982 period.

General Manager was Terry Law and Marine supt. was Dudley Neill

I could not get it out of my mind. Can you confirm Chris?


Chris Field
20th December 2005, 11:07
Jan- you're dead right as always!
One of these days when I get back to NZ ( am currently in UK for an unspecified time) I'll be sending in a few pix about Waitaki/Dunedin and Totara- maybe with a few faces for good measure.
Happy Christmas to all ex-Marrie Carries fans
Chris Field

30th July 2017, 01:45
Asher Esteran was the Engineering Super

Andy Duncan
30th July 2017, 21:32
Asher was one of those characters you meet in your seagoing days that you don't forget , he had little funny sayings, often getting words wrong.last I remember he was back with ABC shipping.

yogi t
31st July 2017, 05:42
Asher ....acker Sid the Yid did the maiden voyage on UNZ ,
Light ship Shiogama to the Mount.
Les Stevens was 3rd Mate , yours truly 2nd Mate, Rod Lott Mate and Charles Smith , Master.5 miles off everything!
Rod Colquhoun was R/O.

John T

Andy Duncan
31st July 2017, 22:16
Funny I had forgotten Asher title Sid the Yid. Sailed with all the above except you John , the R.O. was his first name Peter? , lived at Waiheke Is. I was on the same swing with him on the Totara

1st August 2017, 00:16
Funny I had forgotten Asher title Sid the Yid. Sailed with all the above except you John , the R.O. was his first name Peter? , lived at Waiheke Is. I was on the same swing with him on the Totara

Peter Colquhoun was the R/O there....last I heard he was living in the BOI somewhere.
Mike (ex-USSCo).

yogi t
1st August 2017, 10:11
Memory failing! Yes R/O was Peter, good shipmate and a great sense of humour.
On trials in Shiogama he was doing some noise testing , the yard calibrated the meters in a noisy area , he was awake to this and took them out on deck away from the noise to zero them. Came back in and the levels were far too high in the saloon. Consequently the deck was ripped up and more insulation put in , numerous pipes ( exhausts) in the fiddley were removed and insulated more.
John T