The Rangatira

The <em>Rangatira</em>

For 80 years the bronze green hulls and the red funnels of the Union Steam Ship Company dominated the inter-island trade. This is the second Rangatira, which entered service in 1972 and was destined to be the last of the Lyttelton–Wellington ferries. In the background are a ‘Red Funnel Line' freighter and the old Lyttelton ferry Maori.


Community contributions

3 comments have been posted about The Rangatira

What do you know?

Simon Gunson

Posted: 14 Dec 2013

I traveled on both the Maori and the Rangitira circa 1974. Being a teenager and before the days of internet entertainment it was a monotonous event. I recall that the evenings dragged until one retired to a cabin for sleep and next one knew one was being awoken in the approaches to port. It was a relatively cheap form of travel. Since i was with a group of Air cadets we slept forward down in the bowels in a cabin with possibly 6-8 berths. below decks they were a maze of corridors to cabins. There was little above deck for kids but several lounges for adults. I suspect there must have been a TV lounge but in those days I don't recall we had a choice of TV channels. It was a good alternative for vehicle owners because you slept most of the voyage and awoke fresh at your destination.

Richard Hall

Posted: 10 Apr 2013

In 1972 I worked in the Berthing Centre reservations dept. for Rangatira looking after the vehicle bookings in both directions. There were always the same people going north to south and vice versa who were running late and gave us cock and bull stories about traffic delays and punctures and would we delay the sailings. What happened to Michael Boon who was my co-worker and got in and upset unions and took it upon himself to get the job done. USSCO needed more blokes like him. He was a great bloke to work alongside.

Bob Evans

Posted: 09 Oct 2012

Hmmm you could say I had the pleasure of being on this ship. It was Aug to Nov 1982 after the Falklands conflict. We used to say it was the only ship in the fleet that farted, the smell when pulling astern to embark was horrendous courtesy of the chemical sewage plant. It was a daily occurrence that those living on the lower decks awoke to a foot of water usually with floating feces in it. Not a pleasant sight before breakfast I can tell you.