Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.
To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.
Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.
The order was for a Single Screw Motor coaster for the New Zealand coastal trade, and she was the last merchant ship built under war conditions. Although her design had to suit the Admiralty, as well as her owners.
Upon completion, she was requisitioned by British Ministry of War Transport for war service maintaining supplies to the armies in Europe. During this time she was managed by the General Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., of London.
M.V. Kaimanawa was to serve and play her part in the hostilities, she was used extensively during the invasion of Europe keeping the Allied armies supplied with essential supplies, and despite many bombing attacks on her she survived the war.
She was a large coaster for her time at 2,577 tons, with a length overall of 290 feet and a beam of 45 feet. She was to be the last steam powered vessel built for the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, due to the fact that diesel engines were reserved for naval vessels at the time.
She finally arrived in New Zealand in 1946 and was one of the first vessels on the coast with steel hatch covers.
Similar to the earlier Karitane, she was unusual in that her bridge front extended in front of a pair of samson posts and was the only ship like this, so was easily recognizable.
Kaimanawa was sold in 1966 to Madrigal Shipping Co. Ltd., Manila and renamed Rosa Anna.
On 15 January 1967, she grounded on Sibuyan Island, Philippines and declared a constructive total loss.
She was broken up in Hong Kong later in 1967.
We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.