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.  



HOLMDALE 1921 - 1956CORINNA 1891-1930STENA PROVENCEBarnett Landing craftWAIHEMO 1946-1966CARGO HANDLINGNGATORO 1962-1976MONOWAI 1930-1960PictonTERAWHITI 1907-1947Wellington Head OfficeMOURA 1899-1915TARAWERA 1958-1974PORT WAIKATO 1947-1959RAINBOW WARRIOR  Feb 2013PORT WANSTEADQE 2 WAIMEA 1953-1975OONAH 1891-1922Aotea Quay 1943Kent 2001-2008Evans Bay LaundryUNION MELBOURNE 1975 - 1980MANUIAPORT AUCKLAND 1949-1976USS Mount Vernon (AP-22)Dorset  1949-1972 MOERAKI 1902-1933TOREACharles Edward 1868-1908HOLMDALE 1921-1956QUEENS WHARF TOWERVancouverTAMAHINE 1925-1962Lyttelton 1862-1881WAIMATE 1951-1972Ruapehu 1901-1931WAIHORA 1907-1927KUROW 1939-1965 Wanganui 1877-1888MARAMA 1907-1937KUROW  1909-1933PENGUIN 1879-1909SEAWAY KING 1964-1976TITANIA 1913-1914KARAMEA & OCEAN BULK 1998-2003OROWAITI  1921-1924