50th anniversary of the Wahine disaster

Passengers in lifejackets aboard the ship Wahine on 10 April 1968

Passengers on board the Wahine wait to evacuate the ship. Still image from Descent From Disaster (TVNZ, 7 August 2016).

Check out the 50th anniversary of the Wahine disaster playlist for a range of documentaries about the 1968 sinking of the Wahine held in the TV and Radio collection.

On 10 April 1968, tragedy struck at the entrance of Wellington Harbour when the inter-island ferry Wahine was caught in the worst recorded storm in New Zealand history. It ran aground on Barrett Reef before capsizing and sinking at the mouth of the harbour. 51 people lost their lives and the disaster has remained a significant event in New Zealand’s collective memory.

Survivors of the Wahine disaster on shore (10 April 1968)

Survivors head to safety after making their way ashore. Still image from Descent From Disaster (TVNZ, 7 August 2016).

Through TV and Radio’s live streams of local television channels you can catch the coverage of the dawn service being held on 10 April 2018 at the Wahine Mast Memorial in Eastbourne. The dawn service is one of a number of commemorative events organised by the Wahine 50 Trust.

You can also view verbatim transcripts and papers from the official inquiry into the disaster in a one-case Special Collections display, General Library Level G, until 30 April.

About TV and Radio

Visit TV and Radio and log in with your University of Auckland username to:

  • Explore over 100,000 hours of archived television and radio, dating from 1965 to the present day. Try a keyword search (e.g., elections), or browse by date, channel, programme title or genre.
  • View local TV from the last 14 days and request for episodes to be permanently added to the collection.
  • Access live streams of many local and international TV channels (e.g., BBC World News, Al Jazeera, Parliament TV).

Rose Beasley, Media Services