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:

Marine News 1978 Vol 29 Issue 03R MicklejohnMarine News 1972-73 Vol 24 Issue 03USS Fuller (AP-14)MSC PALERMOMaritime Watch - Issue 12NGAPARA 1966-1986QUEEN MARY 2 and CELEBRITY SOLSTICEUntitled-5Captain R McCaskillCaptain F W BalesMAUNGANUI 1911-19471924-59 Ships Using Pilots     MSEABOURNE ENCOREWAINUI 1965-1970Marine News 2007 54 04Captain G M SchofieldINAHA Captain J MacNeilCaptain J H IbbotsonCaptain E G K MeatyardRAKAIA 1873-1892PORT NAPIER 1912-1938ARAHURANeil Dunlop, Graeme Dutch & Robert FreemanB HarveyCAPE MARIN1924-59  Ships Using Pilots     Y Neil Armitage (3)WAIMEA 1953-1975Prestman Dredge 1883-1903B JacksonEDWIN FOX 1873-1886MARAMA 1907-1937Untitled-6 copyaWellington Head OfficeMarine News 1959 Vol 11 Issue 06Captain H J SouthworthMarine News 1993 Vol 42 Issue 03Dunedin 1874-1890RAINBOW WARRIOR  Feb 2013Koi LaunchA WATCH 1948Captain F S BowmanDavid MorganAotea Quay 1942Neville bridgeMarine News 1981 Vol 31 Issue 04