Identification of a model of a coastal cargo/pax vessel

14th February 2013, 19:17
I recently purchased this model of what appears to be a smallish coastal steamer on ebay. An inquiry with the seller told me only that he bought it from a dealer on the South Island, NZ in 1995. My guess is that it represents a coastal or inter-island combi-freighter from around the mid 1930s. Funnel shows it's a steamer but raked bow makes it to be post 1929. I believe it would be around 240 feet long oa, assuming the model to be about 1/400 scale and extrapolating from the lifeboats and the small sailing yacht.

I don't know whether it's a generic vessel or represents one that actually sailed. If anyone recognizes her, please let me know.

Thanks for any help

15th February 2013, 00:51
This is the s.s.Matai , built for the New Zealand Government in 1930 by R&W Hawthorn Leslie at Hebburn on Tyne in the United Kingdom in 1930 . She was built to replace an older vessel that had been serving the Lighthouses on the New Zealand coast . She also serviced other Islands that came under the N.Z. Goverment administration in the South Pacific, and also cable laying duties around Australia & New Zealand . During World War 2 she served as a minesweeper and patrol boat in Fiji & Soloman Islands. She also took troops to Fanning Island and one of her unusual duties was collecting lepers in the Cook Islands for transport to Makogai in the Fiji Group. Released from war service 1945 she carried troops and equipment back from Guadalcanal to New Zealand & then returned the missionaries back as well.
On return to N.Z. she spent time under charter to Anchor Shipping Company as a relief ferry on the Wellington to Nelson service and in later years similar between Bluff (the southern most port of the South Island) to Stewart Island, before being replaced by a new vessel the m.v.Wairua 11 , she was laid up after service on the Australian Queensland coast in 1956 and sold to a local firm in Bluff who later disposed of her to Singapore interests.

Gross Tonnage 1049 Tons.
Dimmensions 219ft. x 35ft. x 13ft.
She was an oil burner and was capable of conversion to coal burner if required.

I have some photo's of her in her hey day painted white which I will find and post on the website.

Lindsay Butterfield

19th February 2013, 14:24
Thank you for that information. it was kind of you. It's most helpful. And thank you in advance for posting photos.