The White Swan Incident: The Shipwreck That Could Have Sunk a Government

Author(s): Mike Warman

New Zealand

On 29 June 1862 - 140 years ago - the s.s.White Swan was holed by a rock while steaming down the North Island coast between Napier and Wellington. A number of New Zealand's leading politicians and civil servants were among the passengers. A heavy loss of life would have been calamitous for the government and the administration of the colony. Miraculously, Captain Allen Harper managed to find the one safe spot on a notoriously rugged coastline to run the ship ashore on Waiorongo Beach, at Uriti Point on the Wairarapa coast. All passengers and crew managed to scramble ashore without injury. In the White Swan Incident, Mike Warman?s fascinating, thoroughly researched text provides the background to the ill-fated voyage, steaming to the first sitting of parliament in Wellington, the likely reason for the shipwreck, how the passengers fared ashore, the irony behind their rescue, the mysterious enquiry in Wellington, and the subsequent histories of a number of the passengers on board. Noted marine painter, and former cartoonist, Eric Heath was specially commissioned to paint the painstakingly researched book cover scene of the White Swan lying wrecked on the Wairarapa shore. There is no known photograph or painting of the White Swan.

Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780958205337
  • : Wairarapa Archive
  • : Wairarapa Archive
  • : November 2002
  • : 240mm X 170mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Mike Warman
  • : Paperback
  • : 910.452099368
  • : 80
  • : photographs