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.  



HOLMGLEN 1931-1951KAIMANAWA 1944-1966Monowai 1930-1960TIROAMATUA 1936-1968KANIERI 1886-1893KOROMIKO 1907-1928RAKAIA 1873-1892RISDON 1959-1975WHANGAPE 1900-1928KAMONA 1901-1931NGATORO 1942-1949DAMAGE TO CONTAINER TERMINAL AFTER EARTHQUAKEJohn grounding Head OfficeACHILLE LAUROUSS WAKEFIELD arrrivesTarekena Bay Pilot StationKAITUNA 1956-1975UNION ENDEAVOUR 1989-1991Wellington OfficeKAITANGATA 1948-1968PAMIR 1942-1948TOPCATOtaio 1958-1970HIKITIA and RAPAKI TAMAHINE 1925-1962RaratongaBoat harbourKARITANE 1939-1965Koi 1906-1930KUROW 1939-1965 WAIPAHI 1925-1955Arahanga LaunchKAIMAI 1956-1972CORDOBASPIRIT OF CANTERBURYHOLMBURN 1957 -Lyttelton 1862-1881WAIANA 1937-1966STRAIT FERONIANewcastleKARAMU 1912KAREPO 1964-1978George Elliot SinkingHOLMDALE 1921-1956PURIRI 1938-1940 KOROMIKO 1947-1967Rangitata 1929-1962LEITRIM 1916-1929