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.  



MARAROA 1885-1931SPIRIT OF COMPETITIONSPIRIT OF RESOLUTION  1999 - 2012UNION AOTEAROA 1977-1978ARAHANGA 1972 - 2001Suffolk 1939-1968HOLMBURN 1957-1975KARAMEA & OCEAN BULK 1998-2003WAINUI 1887-1929Lyttelton 1862-1881PORT VINDEX 1947-1971Lily 1905-1906HOLMBURN 1944-1954HOLMLEA 1950-1967TimetablesKARITANE 1939-1965HINAKURA 1949-1966MONOWAI 1930-1960Cargo Plan Wairata 1957UNION SOUTH PACIFIC  1973 - 1978HOLMGLEN 1931-1951WAITEMATA 1946-1967FPSO RAROAKONINI 1957-1971KOOTARA 1952-1975RAILWAY WHARFTAMAHINE 1925-1962RINGAROOMA 1878-1901USS WAKEFIELD arrrivesEDWIN FOX 1873-1886MAUNGANUI 1911 - 1947KALINGO 1930-1943WAIRARAPA 1882-1894KOMATA 1947-1967KARAMU 1912BUFFALOWellington Head OfficeARATIKA 1974-1998RaratongaHeywood Landing at AttuPORT NEW PLYMOUTH 1960-1979BUSY QUEENS WHARFINAHA WAIHEMO 1946-1966OPUA 1925-1926Waimea 1909-1928ENDEAVOUR