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.  



OCEAN BULK 1 1998-2003MATANGI 1929-1952MATAURA 1883-1895WAIMEA 1953-1975HMS RAMILLIESWORSER BAY PILOT STATIONEDWIN FOX 1873-1886ROTORUA 1876-1903KAURI 1936-1962HOLMGLEN 1955-1959CANADIAN HIGHLANDER ARANUI  1966 -1984Beacon HillLincoln 1958-1965KAROON 1951-1968Southern Cross  1955-1973STENA PROVENCEJohnBoat harbourWANAKA 1876-1891LIMERICK 1925-1943Wellington Harbour 1943WAINUI 1887-1929WAIKAWA    1946 - 1959MONOWAI  1890-1926HMS Victor 1943-1945KARETU 1964-1980PictonWanganuiTE ANAU 1879-1924Hunter Liggett PracticeUNION SOUTH PACIFIC  1973 - 1978KOROMIKO 1907-1928UNION WELLINGTON  1974-1976HAUPIRI 1896-1915Charles Edward 1868-1908HOLMBANK 1962 - 63HMS VINDEX 1943-1946 Rakaia 1946-1966WANAKA 1970-1976WellingtonNGAIO 1950-1955RISDON 1959-1975Patea in its HeydayNGAPARA 1966-1986PATEENA 1958-1975Submarine BoomWAIMATE 1951-1972NGAKUTA 1962-1983KARAMEA 1998-2003