Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 25, November 1981


An exploratory voyage was made by the paddle steamer "Kopu" on Piako River in September, 1922, to determine whether there would be sufficient support for a regular fortnightly shipping service between Paeroa and Hauraki Plains.

"Kopu" towed a barge containing supplies and timber for unloading at wharves and also on bare riverbanks to points as far upstream as West Road, a mile from Tahuna and 12 miles from Morrinsville.

As Hauraki Plains Gazette representative I joined "Kopu" at Ngatea. My article appeared in the Gazette of September 22, 1922. From Ngatea, after a substantial amount of the freight was unloaded, we proceeded upstream to Kaihere Landing, where we tied up for the night.

S.s. "Gael" arrived from Auckland next morning and transferred some cargo to "Kopu", which was raising steam to sail alone to Patetonga. She returned later for the barge which, in the meantime, had also received a transhipment from "Gael" for transfer to farms as far up as Tahuna.

In the upper reaches the river was narrow and winding, and at times "Kopu" had to proceed with great care to shepherd her barge around sharp bends. Launches were seen frequently on Piako River at that time.