For those of you who are not FaceBookers, or didn’t catch Brian Megaw’s post, here is what he put up this evening, regarding the two dories Andy Hutchinson and I built for him in New Zealand last fall. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

It Is No Simple Business Naming a Dory

12 months ago Brad Dimock and Andy Hutchinson built our two beautiful, wooden, Briggs style river dories. .

For most of the last 12 months those same boats have essentially been nameless (though they did have working names, Zsa Zsa and Eva after the Gabor sisters).

We can announce that the two sisters now have their real names. Names that are not only beautiful but also meaningful.

To find and settle upon those names we decided to follow the tradition set by Martin Litton with Grand Canyon Dories 50 years ago. Martin decided that each of his Briggs style dories would be named after a natural feature that had either been lost, destroyed or radically altered by human development.

Following this worthy precedent we researched the impact that the Tongariro Power scheme has made on the Whanganui River. In total some 30 streams and rivers have been diverted or dammed for this scheme, with many of these waterways being from the headwaters of the Whanganui. In essence we looked for places where some of the “mauri” or life force of the Whanganui had been taken.

We found two streams, each diverted, each with the type of name we were after. Each of these names seemed to speak to the dories.

We shared these names with Maori who still live on the river.  They gave the names the nod of approval.

On the 17th of December, in a moving ceremony, Apotoro Rehita Puruhe Smith of the Ratana Church blessed the boats and acknowledged the names at the boat ramp at Pipiriki.

Let me now introduce you to:

Te Whaiau – (The Current Follower)


Okupata – (My Droplets of Water)

Somehow this process makes the boats seem more complete, and was worth the 12 months wait to find the right names.

For more information on the trips that you can take on the Whanganui River in
Okupata and Te Whaiau, please visit our website.

Brian Megaw