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N Z Waitangi

N Z Waitangi

Here is a stern view of the N Z Waitangi.
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Frank

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A nice blast from the past - everyone I new of my generation who was on the NZ coast were jockeying for positions on the NZ WAITANGI or NZ AORANGI. A couple of OS I knew from the NZ AORANGI were killed in a car accident while in the UK - it came as a shock to the rest of the young guys never imagining that something like that may happen - I guess it's part of that illusion we all have when we're young, that were bomb proof.
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Emmanuel
 

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Thanks Duncan I wasn't sure if it was NZ WAITANGI or NZ AORANGI that they were on .
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Emmanuel
 

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I take these are the last SSA IC Boats Majestic & Brittanic? Why did the Kiwi Government feel they had a need for these sort of ships? Was it that they could not rely on the old UK "liner" companies who had switched to box boats? To operate some of the old routes?
 

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Yes they were the MAJESTIC AND BRITANIC.The setting up in 1973 of NZ Line was to carry what was seen as our share of the large trade operating between NZ and the UK . I think that the NZ Gov, did make a fundamental error in chosing to go fully conventional at a time when containerisation had started to make a real impact on cargo handling , but all the services between NZ,UK and Europe were well sewn up by the Conference Lines and in setting up a State owned shipping company many compromises had to be made to break in to the trade. In 1972 there were to have been 4 new Bristish owned container vessels introduced to the UK - NZ service but this was cancelled and this opened the door for NZ Line. In 1978 the 42,000 grt container ship NEW ZEALAND PACIFIC entered service and made the NZ WAITANGI and NZ AORANGI redundant. A big problem for the new shipping company was that it was growing too rapidly almost out of control -new services were being established and high salaries being offered to attract people from other companies. National shipping companies in the Western World have traditionally failed - higher overheads and trying to compete against cheap labour crews makes survival almost impossible and this was the fate of the NZ Shipping Corporation as by 1989 the dream was over ! but the same can now be said of so may shipping companies which had much longer histories than the Shipping Corp, of NZ.
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Emmanuel
 

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Thanks Emmanuel - you certainly have a good knowledge of Kiwi shipping. Very interested to learn that there was to be a dedicate UK/NZ Container Service. I sailed with OCL from 72 to 74. At that time anyway we just did Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney ( Longtime ago but do not think we did Adelaide or Brisbane). As you may know OCL at that time was a combined P&O, NZS, SSA organisation ( with Port Line and I think Blue Star forming the rival ACT service) - Australian Flag ships provided the feeder services - OCL then must have had links to Blue Funnel as they operated the Far East Services but crews did not mix. I think the intention was then to expand the UK Aussie service to NZ? I think this happened post 74 when I had left. But are you saying there was a plan to operate a seperate 4 ship company to NZ or was this planned additional tonnage (to either OCL or ACT)?
 

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The 4 ships would have been part of the Conference Service and either operated by OCL or ACT. The change of mind came as a result of poor freight rate agreements, the producer boards deciding they no longer wanted to ship their produce through a monopoly but would start calling for tenders each year to carry their cargo on some trades eg North America. This would have caused the Conterence Line some concern even though they held control over most of the shipping services between UK -NZ and the shore side operations. But as the profit margine was so small and the cost of introducing the 4 container vessels was 80 million pounds plus a further $11 million of NZ capital they needed for shore facilities they decided against it and decided to push on with their conventional ships which had low book values and still had a fair amount of life left and with low book values the low freight rates would still allow them to make a profit. If you think about it they had been building new conventional tonnage when a lot of other companies were moving into container ships. The closer links with Britain and the Common Market may have also been an influence. Prior to MAJESTIC and BRITANNIC being sold to the NZ LINE Shaw Shavill had offered the ZEALANDIC and LAURENTIC as their book value was so low Shaw Savill thought that with less expence to start with would give the new company more capital to keep in reserve or for other matters but after consideration - principally that the ships being offered were of a smaller size and older, BRITANNIC and MAJESTIC were agreed on. Remember that Shaw Savill had a 24.9 % holding in the company and I suspect that the two ships were part of that deal so little or no money would have changed hands it would have been all on paper.In time as you say OCL ,ACT ,Blue Star and P&O operated container vessels to NZ but sadly they to have gone .
That's it in a nut shell.
Regards
Emmanuel
 

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