Ran­gatira des­tined for scrap heap, bro­ker says

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - ME­GAN SUTHER­LAND

A well-known ship with Hol­ly­wood ties that was pinned to be a tourist at­trac­tion for Ti­maru has failed to sell on the open mar­ket and may be des­tined for the scrap heap.

The Ran­gatira, which made the reg­u­lar voy­age be­tween Ti­maru and the Chatham Is­lands for 15 years and ap­peared in the film The World’s Fastest In­dian, was sug­gested as a long-term gem and po­ten­tial fu­ture tourist at­trac­tion for Ti­maru by fish­er­man Gor­don Mitchell.

Mitchell had put for­ward the idea to save the ship and make it into a tourist at­trac­tion for the town be­cause of its his­tory and Hol­ly­wood ties.

The ten­der for the ship was be­ing of­fered by SeaBoat, a marine bro­ker­age.

SeaBoat bro­ker Ge­off Fraser said the boat did not sell at ten­der, which closed on Novem­ber 7.

Fraser be­lieved that PrimePort was talk­ing with in­di­vid­ual par­ties about fur­ther dis­cus­sion of the ship’s fu­ture.

He said there were no of­fi­cial tenders made on the ship, and while some peo­ple had shown ‘‘in­ter­est’’, they were peo­ple who were not go­ing to pay any money.

Fraser es­ti­mated it would cost about half a mil­lion dol­lars to re­pair the ship to get it up to op­er­a­tional stan­dard.

‘‘Some peo­ple may think it is worth some­thing...but a ship won’t live for­ever.’’

He said the ship would most likely be scrapped.

Mitchell, 69, said the ship was past sav­ing.

‘‘It was a good idea and I think it would make a good tourist at­trac­tion for Ti­maru but it’s [the Ran­gatira] past it.’’

PrimePort Ti­maru chief ex­ec­u­tive Phil Mel­hopt had no com­ment as to the ship’s fu­ture.

The ship was for­merly owned by Ti­maru mar­itime in­dus­try vet­eran Kelvin Les­lie’s com­pany South East Ship­ping Ltd.

It used the ship to trans­port live­stock be­tween Ti­maru and Owenga, in the Chatham Is­lands.

The Ran­gatira made its fi­nal voy­age to the Chatham Is­lands in 2015.

In May, a High Court Jus­tice ruled the ship should be sold to pay off more than $170,000 owed to PrimePort.

PHOTO: JOHN BISSET/STUFF

The Ran­gatira, which a bro­ker be­lieves is likely to be scrapped fol­low­ing a lack of in­ter­est.

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