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NZBC Classics - Wahine Disaster

Television (Full Length) – 1968

On 10 April 1968 the Lyttelton–Wellington ferry Wahine ran aground and sank at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. Fifty-three people died as a result of the accident, 51 on the day. These news features include aerial footage of the ship after the storm, and NZBC reporters conducting dramatic interviews with survivors, police and the head of the Union Steam Ship Company. Coverage was only seen by mainlanders after a cameraman rushed 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 the NZ Broadcasting Corporation's win at the World Newsfilm Awards, The Listener, 6 December 1968

Key Cast & Crew

John Blick


Gary Cunningham


Keith Aberdein


Bill Alexander


Peter Brian


Brian Shennan


See all 14 credits

Produced by

NZ Broadcasting Corporation

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A 25th anniversary report on the Wahine disaster

I Was There - Wahine Disaster

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Smash Palace

Wahine reporter Keith Aberdein acted in this feature film

Back From the Dead - The Saga of the Rose Noelle

Documentary about the story of the Rose Noelle

Inside Story: The Wahine Disaster

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The Wahine Disaster

Documentary chronicling events on the day

A Very Nice Honeymoon

Another famous NZ shipwreck

Here Is the News

1992 documentary on the history of news reporting in NZ

Shipwreck - The Tragedy of the Boyd

Series on NZ shipwrecks

Wahine Day

Remembering the Wahine five years later

Destination Disaster: The Sinking of the Mikhail Lermontov

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Special Investigators - Episode Eight

Documentary series about accident investigators

Spot On - First Episode

The subject is famous shipwreck deterrent: the lighthouse

Wahine - The Untold Story

Brian Edwards presented this 1993 Wahine documentary

Here Is The News - Wahine excerpt

Reporters remember covering the Wahine disaster

Spring Flames

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Wicked Weather - The Wind

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