• WAHINE 50 YEARS ON

    TRIBUTE TO THE RESCUE

    The date of 10 April 1968 has a permanent place on New Zealand’s calendar. On that day, the most profound tragedy struck at the entrance to Wellington harbour.
    Image: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

    THE WAHINE 50 PROGRAMME OUR NEWS
  • WHAT HAPPENED

    Cyclone Giselle, moving down from the Pacific, combined with another storm in Cook Strait and unleashed its fury. The ferry Wahine ran aground on Barrett Reef, listed and then sank. 51 lives were lost that day.
    Image: Warwick W.G.Pryce

    WAHINE DISASTER CYCLONE GISELLE
  • GET IN TOUCH

    The survivors thank the rescuers and volunteers. The survivors of the Wahine disaster strongly feel that many, many people who assisted them and, in many cases, risked their own lives on April 10 1968 have never been fully acknowledged.
    Image: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

    TELL YOUR STORY FIND OUT MORE

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giselle 

Image: Niwa

On Wahine Day, as it is known, our country was struck by the most ferocious storm in recent maritime history. 

Cyclone Giselle, moving down from the Pacific, combined with another storm in Cook Strait and unleashed its fury. It left a trail of destruction across the country.

The Union Steam Ship Company’s ferry Wahine ran aground on Barrett Reef, listed and then sank. 51 lives were lost that day.

Fifty years on, survivors of the Wahine disaster have formed a trust to commemorate that fateful day by thanking the many, many people who, through their extraordinary response, ensured that so many people made it to safety.

Holding a meaningful commemoration is a challenge. The Wahine 50 Charitable Trust needs to raise funds for the events to be held on April 10, 2018. Beyond the events programme, the Trust proposes to assist the Wellington and Mana Coastguards with their urgent need to replace their existing rescue vessels.

That is an ambitious goal. However, the survivors of the Wahine disaster know, perhaps more than anyone, what this community is capable of when tested under the most extreme conditions.

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Image: Warwick W.G.Pryce