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.  



WAINUI 1965-1970Koi 1906-1930HAMILTON  1967- 1975ARMAGH 1917-1923Full Harbour 1951KAWATIRI 1950-1971KATUI  1947-1967UNION NEW ZEALAND 1972 - 1978Cap BadgeAlchiba UnloadingKATEA 1958-1975WAIHEMO 1946-1966Hororata at OpuaAotea Quay 1943Straitsman 2010-ROTOMAHANA 1879-1925Wellington OfficeHMS VINDEX 1943-1946 ZEPHYR 2ARANUI  1966 -1984Patea in its HeydayPENGUIN 1879-1909PORT CHALMERS 1933-1965PORT NICHOLSON 1962-1979BRUCE 1875-1875KARU 1935-1964KAWAROA 1950-1972Kahika  1915-1933HOLMDALE 1921 - 1956Port NelsonUNION HOBART 1976-1993TE ANAU 1879-1924QUEENS WHARF TOWERPATEENA 1958-1975Picton 3 FerriesAMOKURA 1978-1993LIMERICK 1925-1943TimetablesTongariro 1901-1916TOFUA 1951-1973PORT BRISBANE 1949-1975PORT JACKSON 1937-1967Santa Regina 2002-Portland (Whangarei)KOROMIKO 1947-1967NATONE 1900-1947