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

Our website contains a random selection of short articles, a list of maritime books and where they can be obtained, short histories of shipping companies, the ships and some personalities which trade or have traded to New Zealand, copies of our journal New Zealand Maritime News and Watts Shipping Register. 

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 have been 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.

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We welcome relevant news stories, photographs & articles.

You can also add your comments to existing content help us with the identification of people, ships and events.  

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Latest content:

Talune Officers 1899LOONGANA 1904-1936Marine News 1967 Vol 19 Issue 01DAMAGE TO CONTAINER TERMINAL AFTER EARTHQUAKEFleet List Nov 1967 - Otaio, Otaki, Paparoa, Piako, Pipiriki, RakaiaMarine News 2007 54 04Loongoona Officers 1904Marine News 1974 Vol 25 Issue 04John and Kath BrownMONOWAI 1930-1960W A WoodSydneyAURORA Names PleaseB J Copland, David Ewings,    , John Bradley (1964)Captain J D CollinsCaptain J RankineCaptain R WarrinerWanganui 1877-1888Hororata 1942-1966Captain G M RuxtonIain and Auriel SteversonHIKITIA CREWSid RushJohn Mansell - Richard Green Marine News 1949 Vol 01 Issue 04Captain A C ShowmanXING NING HAIRINGAROOMA 1878-1901HMAS CANBERRAC A LARSONMarine News 1992 Vol 41 Issue 04GABRIELLA 1930Captain W E JonesMarine News 1988  38  04Captain F D JohnsonSuffolk at Panama2000 Masterton Reunion3 Ferries at Wellington Jock Cain and Robyn RamsayKUROW 1939-1965 QUEEN MARY 2Marine News 2000 Vol 49 Issue 01KAIMAI 1924-1952ANL ELANORAINAHAG AdbeeWAIPAHI 1925-1955