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.

The search facility scans our whole web site.

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:

ROTOMAHANAMarine News 1964-65 Vol 16 Issue 03Lisa Falleni + Bob DickensonJoyce and Alan DarrochCaptain C R GayCELEBRITY SOLSTICETERAWHITI 1907-1947Full Harbour 1951Captain R TullochLOONGANA 1904-1936Iain Mcleod, Wayne Mills, Gavin Permain, Kevin Judkins, Stuart Scott & othersCaptain J A NobleCaptain W R SlaterMarine News 1951 Vol 03 Issue 01Marine News 1950 Vol 02 Issue 02FAIRWAYTommy & Pat Wilson + David McAlisterUNION AOTEAROA 1977-1978KONINI 1957-1971USS Roamer (AF-19)Marine News 2010 57 02KAMO 1947-1958ATHELVISCOUNT  1965-1978DSC01065Graham and Diane DutchValerie and Rod ShortCaptain A C CrosbieRINGAROOMA 1878-1901PORT SYDNEY 1955-1972LEGEND OF THE SEA2000 Masterton ReunionBarnet-619 OKMaritime Watch - Issue 13Captain R A WilliamsonPursers - Paihia 1995 Tony and Barbara Murphy UNION ROTOITI 1977-1999Marine News 1978 Vol 28 Issue 03Captain W R SutherlandJoy and Ron PetrieVEGA GOTLANDCaptain D N MillarCaptain F A KelnerMarine News Volume 06, 1954(all issues)John Ackrill + Graeme DutchMarine News 1994 Vol 43 Issue 03TOFUA 1951-1973Marine News 1949 Vol 01 Issue 05