Maritime Heritage Site



The New Zealand Ship & Marine Society was formed in 1949 and was comprised of people from all sections of the community and from many different countries who have an interest in ships and maritime activities. 

The website contains a random selection of short articles, a list of maritime books, short histories of shipping companies, the ships and some personalities which trade or have traded to New Zealand, some New Zealand ports, copies of the journal “New Zealand Marine News” and Dr. Watt's Index. 

As an island country, all transport to and from New Zealand before 1930 was by ship. The first settlers arrived by canoe and the European settlers who followed in the 19th century were transported by sailing ship.

Steam ships were slow to arrive in New Zealand because of the great distances between coaling stations. After the frozen meat trade started in 1882, steamships trading overseas increased rapidly, although by that time there were numerous steam vessels trading around the coast and across to Australia.

Many shipping companies were associated with trade to and from New Zealand. Some lasted many years, some did not remain long, some were only one ship companies, but all contributed to the growth of the nation and gave employment to many New Zealanders.

The search facility scans our whole web site.


The Society website was first established by Mark Johnston in February 2000. When he left New Zealand in June 2005, Captain John Brown kindly agreed to become webmaster and to further develop the website, which he did admirably. The original website was extensively revised and redesigned. In December 2014 the website moved over to Recollect and further developed. John Brown put much time and effort into adding photographs and articles into the website, and except for some transient one-call ships, the majority of his work has been retained for history. The Society was formally wound-up on 30 June 2019, but this website is retained as a maritime heritage site for historical maritime information, especially of New Zealand shipping.  



Gothic 1948-1969PAREORA 1876-1887NGAHERE 1966-1987LEITRIM 1916-1929Ruahine 1909-1949NukualofaNGAPARA 1966-1986WAIHEMO 1919 - 1934TONGARIRO 1925-1960POOLTA  1959-1976Rangitata 1929-1962Halcione 1880-1896Monowai 1930-1960Helen Deny 1866-1896KORANUI 1956-1975WAHINE 1966 -1968OVALAU 1891-1903PORT VINDEX 1947-1971TAHITI SINKINGRaratongaKent 2001-2008LST's at Kings Wharf 3 ARAHURAHOLMLEA 1950-1967MAPOURIKA 1898-1921Cap BadgeMAWHERA 1885-1902UNION SYDNEY 1974-1977Armagh 1917Lily 1905-1906Barnett Landing craftDunedin 1874-1890Tekoa 1922-1958TAVIUNI 1890-1924WAIPA 1875-1895HAMILTON  1967- 1975Hororata 1942-19661965MANUKA 1903-1929Capacity Plan KORAKIWAIKARE 1958-1975WAIPORI 1901-1928WATERSIDERDISCOVERYRAINBOW WARRIOR  Feb 2013BARRETT REEF BUOYLIMERICK 1925-1943HOLMBURN 1957 -