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.  



PORT VINDEX 1947-1971KINI 1930-1956EDWIN FOX 1873-1886WINGATUI  1920-1951TALUNE 1891-1925TimetablesARAHINA ASSISTING HIKITIAKAMONA 1901-1931BluffKOWHAI 1952-1973KAIAPOI 1949-1968HIKITIA and RAPAKI LautokaMARAMA 1969-1985  HOLMLEA 1950-1967TAUPATA 1939-1949WAIRARAPA 1882-1894Taupo 1966-1970WAINUI 1887-1929TAMAHINE 1925-1962FoxtonHINEMOA 1946-1967HOLMDALE 1961 - ATHELVISCOUNT  1965-1978DunedinSPIRIT OF RESOLUTION  1999 - 2012Full Harbour 1951MATUA 1936-1968KAIMIRO 1956-1975KIWITEA 1925-1955AORANGI 1910-1914MIDDLESEXPORT NICHOLSON 1962-1979Wellington 4 FerriesTOFUA 1951-1973HOLMDALE 1921-1956KATEA 1958-1975Waimea 1909-1928AMOKURA 1978-1993HOLMBURN 1957-1975Stenhouse BayFLOATING DOCKPORT WYNDHAM 1935-1966.NUSA PUTERAKENT loading campervans at Lyttelton October 2007KURUTAI 1952-1972KAMONA 1949-1965PORT NEW PLYMOUTH 1960-1979