Several aspects of the story do not ring true, for example a claim that passengers transferred to U-196 from another U-boat allegedly sunk in the Bay of Biscay. U-196 left in March 1944 and the only missing Monsoon boat at this time was U-851 which left from Kiel in February 1944.
Extract from article:
The possible discovery of a sunken German U-boat, which supposedly carried secret passengers and a large amount of Nazi loot to a Northland shoreline, has excited a group of divers and shipwreck explorers.
Dargaville's Noel Hilliam, president of the New Zealand Underwater Heritage Group, which had its second annual meeting at Labour Weekend, believes the submarine, U196, lies in a watery grave off the west coast of the Kaipara.
He said that, in 1944, U196 dropped off 13 high-ranking Nazis and three children. Met on the beach, two trucks helped them transport the booty. According to three descendants of this group, the Nazis, helped by collaborators, passed themselves off as Austrians in Northland.