Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 22, June 1978

In June 1977 a party of Auckland Maritime Society members visited the Paeroa Maritime Park. This outing was recorded by Cliff Furniss in their newsletter:-

The "SETTLERS"' brown-painted mast and derrick moved steadily along behind the green willows fringing the Waihou River, then her white funnel with its black top appeared as the little ship came round the last bend of the river and headed for the jetty. White bulwarks above her dark green hull showed off her lovely sheer, and a high bow-wave tumbled aside from her thrusting stem. Sunlight and shadow played around her, and I stood enthralled at the picture she made. The scene tugged at my memory. Sometime, somewhere before...? Yes, of course; that was it. June, 1927...fifty years, half a century, by Heavens, since I stood on the Ngatea Wharf one fine frosty evening just after the sun had gone and watched the "HAUITI" coming down the Piako River from Kerepehi. Her mast and funnel had emerged from the tangle of bare willow branches as she came into the straight of the last reach, gliding through the placid water as she headed for the opened span of the Ngatea Bridge.

This glimpse into the river travel of the past was one of the highlights of our visit to the Paeroa Maritime Park, with its growing fleet of vintage craft and its collection of historic items awaiting restoration in the workshops. Before we set out on the return journey, there was time to visit the paddle tug "KOPU", a forlorn sight as she lies submerged in the river backwater. Yet, she is standing up to her long immersion surprisingly well; given the necessary funds for her raising and she may yet rise from her river grave as a veritable maritime ghost from the past.

I was particularly impressed by the dedicated spirit shown by this small band of people who have already achieved wonders of preservation and restoration upon a financial shoestring. After seeing what they are doing, I feel that they deserve every encouragement and all the practical help and support we can muster.