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.  



TATANA  1955-1970TARARUA 1878-1881WanganuiCapacity Plan KORAKIKAIPARA 1903-1914HOLMDALE 1921 - 1956MAKURA 1908-1936PORT INVERCARGILL 1958-1975QUEENS WHARF TOWERWAIPORI 1938-1965RIMUTAKA 1884-1899MAORI 1953-1974KOROMIKO 1907-1928HURUNUI 1875-1895MANUIAKAIKOURA 1884-1899HOLMGLEN 1931-1951Barnett Landing craftPORT LAUNCESTON 1957-1977MARAROA 1885-1931POOLTA  1959-1976BUFFALORuapehu 1901-1931HOLMBANK 1962 - 63TAUPO 1875-1879Union AirwaysKENT loading campervans at Lyttelton October 2007Stenhouse BayOROWAITI  1921-1924KATEA 1958-1975MATUA 1936-1968Napier OfficePort ChalmersMIDDLESEXRINGAROOMA 1878-1901Santa Regina 2002-SPIRIT OF FREEDOMPOOLTA 1925-1952 PORT CHALMERS 1933-1965TE ANAU 1879-1924WAIPAHI 1925-1955PATEENA 1958-1975TAKAPUNA 1883-1924INAHA Straitsman 1992-2002EVANS BAY PATENT SLIP