PORT NICHOLSON 1962-1979Dominion Monarch 1938-1962SPIRIT OF PROGRESS TOTARA 1957-1979A WATCH 1948INAHAHurunui 1948-1966


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. 

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.

The search facility scans our whole web site.


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.  



Owners: CCharles Edward 1868-1908TAMAHINE 1925-1962MAHENO 1905-1935MAWHERA 1885-1902KAREPO 1964-1978UNION AOTEAROA 1977-1978KARTIGI 1925-1955HOLMBANK 1962 - 63UNION SOUTH PACIFIC  1973 - 1978HAWEA 1875-1888MSC PALERMOShips: ZMAKURA 1908-1936KAMONA 1901-1931NORFOLK GUARDIANKOROMIKO 1947-1967UNION MARKOwners: W1960-1969 Purser ListsUNION MELBOURNE 1975 - 1980RFA BAYLEAFTHE WORLDThe Ship BuildersTRANS FUTURE 8WAITOMO 1946-1963EMERALD PRINCESSUnknownMOKOIA 1898-1928TANEAKARAMU 1912CORINNA 1891-19301966 DECKWellington Berthing Register 1944KARAMU 1953-1972SAPPHIRE PRINCESSShips: FPENGUIN 1879-1909ARAMOANA    1962 - 1984Wellington Berthing Register 1939TARARUA 1878-1881POOLTA 1925-1952 LIBERTY ACEOCEAN BULK 1 1998-2003NIAGARA 1913-1940PORT WAIKATO 1940 - 1959UNION ROTORUA 1976-1998CRYSTAL HARMONYAVILUKAITUNA  1905-1931