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.  



LST's at Kings Wharf 3 Wairarapa, 1884TOREAGreymouthKUROW 1939-1965 Dunedin 1874-1890KAITUNA 1956-1975WHANGAPE 1900-1928Hororata 1942-1966WAIRIMU 1948-1966TAIOMA 1947-1975NGAPARA 1966-1986Remuera 1961-1967Rangitiki 1929-1962Turakina 1960-1970SydneyKAIARAHIAucklandFoxtonBad weather in Wellington / Cook StraitRaratongaMAHENO 1969-1976EVANS BAY PATENT SLIPMAORI 1875-1902NewcastleEvans Bay LaundryPORT NEW PLYMOUTH 1960-1979Port ChalmersRemuera 1913 - 1940Taupo 1966-1970Rangitata 1929-1962LytteltonTAKAPUNA 1883-1924FPSO RAROAKAITOA 1956-1971WAHINE  1913 - 1951KOPUA 1947-1959JAMES O'BRIENAOTEAROA 1913PapeeteALBION 1878-1883KAIPARA 1903-1914HOLMGLEN 1931-1951Princess Danae x Port MelbourneMOKOIA 1898-1928KUROW  1909-1933Corinthic 1947