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.  



KAMONA 1901-1931KUROW  1909-1933NGAIO 1921-1935Lincoln 1958-1965KARETU 1924-1951SPIRIT OF RESOLUTION  1999 - 2012UNION MELBOURNE 1975 - 1980WAIPAHI 1925-1955SydneyNUSA PUTERAOVATION OF THE SEASBEAUTIFUL STAR 1875-1899HOLMDALE 1921 - 1956WALLACEKARITANE 1939-1965EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE AT WELLINGTON CONTAINER TERMINALTIROAMcCawley PracticeWellington Harbour 1943IAN FELTHAM INTERVIEWRISDON 1959-1975TAHITI SINKINGMataroa 1932-1957PORT WAIKATO 1940 - 1959STRAIT FERONIA and ARATEREOPUA 1925-1926DAMAGE TO CONTAINER TERMINAL AFTER EARTHQUAKEKAITAKICowichin BayZEPHYR 2Port KemblaHAWEA 1875-1888KAITANGATA 1948-1968KOONYA 1957-1971Aotea Quay 1943MOKOIA 1898-1928KORANUI 1885-1889REMUERA 1911-1940HOLMLEA 1936-1950KORANUI 1956-1975AQUITANIATARAWERA 1882-1927NIAGARA 1913-1940WanganuiUnion AirwaysPORT NAPIER 1912-1938MARAMA 1907-1937Barnett Landing craftHOLMPARK 1965-1972TATANA  1955-1970