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.  



Picton 3 FerriesKAIPARA 1903-1914AQUITANIAHOLMDALE 1921 - 1956BUSY QUEENS WHARFINAHA NAVUA 1955-1971WAINUI 1930-1958Evans Bay LaundryTERAWHITI 1907-1947SEAWAY QUEEN 1964-1975STENA PROVENCEREMUERA 1911-1940WAITEMATA 1919-1932DAMAGE TO CONTAINER TERMINAL AFTER EARTHQUAKEUNION LYTTELTON  1977- 1983  SEAWAY MELBOURNE 1983 - 1992Arahanga LaunchStenhouse BaySydneyRaratongaJOHN 1911-1936NGAKUTA 1942-1952USS BAINBRIDGEHURUNUI 1875-1895KAWATIRI 1950-1971Port ChalmersWALLACEARATEREWAIHEMO 1919 - 1934TAUPO 1875-1879UNION MELBOURNE 1975 - 1980EDWIN FOX 1873-1886SEAWAY PRINCE 1975-1985RAILWAY WHARFRemuera 1961-1967MARAMA 1969-1985  TE ANAU 1879-1924KAIMAI 1956-1972Southern Cross  1955-1973DISCOVERYPORT CHALMERS 1969-1982KARAMEA 1998-2003PORT BRISBANE 1949-1975Gothic 1948-1969ARATIKA 1974-1998Dunedin 1874-1890RAKAIA 1873-1892SPIRIT OF RESOLUTION  1999 - 2012Koi 1906-1930MAHENO 1969-1976