The return of the Kestrel to Waitamata harbour is a wonderful Christmas
present for the Auckland maritime and heritage community. All great maritime
cities have a fleet of working heritage vessels. The Kestrel was one of the
jewels of the Auckland maritime scene and of the national maritime scene.
The sooner the Kestrel can be recommissioned and put back into use the
better for Auckland and our Tourism industry. It is not just the beauty of
the boat, but its social history that goes back 105 years that is important
to us all.
Many of us shed more than a few tears when the Stagecoach Company bought out
our local ferry company Fullers. One of Stagecoach's first actions was to
sell the Kestrel. At that time the Kestrel was not only well loved and
patronised by many people of Auckland (citizens and visitors alike) it was
also maintained to the highest condition at the insistence of George Hudson,
the managing director of Fullers at that time.
Let us hope that our maritime history continues to be valued for future
generations of Aucklanders.