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NZBC Classics - Wahine Disaster Television – 1968 News/Current Affairs

NZBC Classics - Wahine Disaster

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On April 10th 1968 the Lyttelton–Wellington ferry Wahine ran aground and sank at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. 53 people died as a result of the accident; 51 on the day. This news piece features aerial footage of the ship after the storm, and NZBC reporters conduct dramatic interviews with survivors, police and the head of the Union Steam Ship Company. Coverage was only seen by Mainlanders after a cameraman rushed up to Kaikoura and filmed a TV set that could receive a signal from Wellington — then returned to Christchurch so the footage could be broadcast.

[The NZBC team] worked under extreme conditions to shoot the film, in torrential rain and gale force winds, losing 1000 feet of film through water entering their cameras. Water marks here and there on the film show the sort of situation in which it was shot....
– Article on NZBC's win at the World Newsfilm Awards, Listener, December 6 1968