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.  



WAIHORA 1907-1927MOKOIA 1898-1928KAREPO 1964-1978FPSO RAROAKAITANGATA 1948-1968PATEENA 1958-1975WAINUI 1965-1970HAWEA 1967-1976HMS RAMILLIESHOLMBANK 1962 - 63Corinthic 1947Patea in its HeydayTOREAKUROW  1909-1933John grounding Opua SurvivorsKAITOA 1909-1950UNION NEW ZEALAND 1972 - 1978OVATION OF THE SEASOPUA 1925-1926HINAKURA 1949-1966LOONGANA 1904-1936HOLMBURN 1957 -KARAMEA 1998-2003Hororata 1942-1966Tongariro 1883-1899Athenic 1901-1928Southern Cross  1955-1973EL CIERVOTarekena Bay Pilot StationANATOKIPORT CHALMERS 1933-1965HAUPIRI 1896-1915SPIRIT OF PROGRESS TE AROHA 1935-1936MATANGI 1929-1952DARTFORD 1908-1946DAPHNE ex PORT SYDNEYPORT VINDEX 1947-1971VancouverJohnWATERSIDERMAUNGANUI 1911 - 1947KOTUKU  1900-1912LautokaDunedinThevenardRangitiki 1929-1962