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.  



KAREPO 1964-1978PORT HOBART 1926-1940KAIMIRO 1929 -1956KINI 1898-1924PORT BRISBANE 1949-1975REBUILDING THE CONTAINER BERTHTOTARA 1957-1979Rangitata 1929-1962WAINUI 1887-1929GreymouthBrittanic 1967-AORAKIKARTIGI 1925-1955KORANUI 1920-1953KOKIRI 1951-1968FoxtonKONINI 1957-1971WAIRARAPA 1882-1894Picton 3 FerriesTARAWERA 1882-1927WALLACERAILWAY WHARFKAIWARRA 1919-1942PORT SYDNEY 1955-1972HOLMBURN 1957 -KOPUA 1947-1959MAUNGANUI 1911-1947Portland (Whangarei)Port ChalmersPatea Wharves 1953RIMUTAKA 1884-1899JohnGolden Princess & Interislander Ferries Nov 2015WAIHEMO 1919 - 1934PORT CHALMERS 1969HMS Victor 1943-1945QUEEN ELIZABETH 2Cargo Plan WAIRATA 1956PORT JACKSON 1937-1967CANADIAN HIGHLANDER KARAMEA 1998-2003CORINNA 1891-1930KATUI  1947-1967UNION NEW ZEALAND 1972 - 1978REMUERA 1911-1940PORT ADELAIDE 1951-1972TE AROHA 1935-1936WAIRUNA 1919-1945MANAPOURI 1882-1915Port Chalmers Marine Workshops