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.  



DunedinWAIPA 1875-1895WORSER BAY PILOT STATIONLOONGANA 1904-1936Alchiba UnloadingOPIHI 1923-1936RISDON 1959-1975C A LARSONKARETU 1924-1951Suffolk at PanamaWAHINE 1966 -1968KAMONA 1901-1931OROWAITI  1921-1924PORT NEW PLYMOUTH 1960-1979Tarekena Bay Pilot StationWellington 5 FerriesPort New Plymouth LaunchUSS Republic (AP-33)MARAMA 1907-1937WAKATERE1965Union AirwaysThevenardKAIMANAWA 1944-1966HobartWATERSIDERHAWEA 1875-1888Remuera 1961-1967TOWAI 1954-1969KORANUI 1885-1889UNION WELLINGTON  1974-1976USS LONG BEACHPENGUIN 1879-1909WAIKAWA    1946 - 1959MAHENO 1969-1976ARAMOANA    1962 - 1984TAIOMA 1947-19751952 BUSY PORT3 Ferries at Wellington George Elliot SinkingHURUNUI 1875-1895QUEENS WHARF TOWERHead OfficeWAIMATE 1874-1888MOERAKI 1902-1933PATEENA 1958-1975KAITAWA 1949-1966