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.  



FPSO RAROAMenu 1958WINGATUI  1920-1951RIMUTAKA 1884-1899TOWAI 1954-1969PORT NEW PLYMOUTH 1960-1979KUROW 1939-1965 1952 BUSY PORTKAIAPOI  1906-1930WAIKAWA    1946 - 1959TARARUA 1878-1881Suffolk 1939-1968TAIOMA 1947-1975ARAHURA AT THE END OF LINEMARAROA 1885-1931KAITOKE 1948-1972KANNA 1946-1967BUSY QUEENS WHARFKAWAROA 1950-1972USS Talamanca (AF-15)MAKURA 1908-1936Taioma and HinupahiTATANA  1955-1970MOURA 1899-1915Remuera 1913 - 1940KAIMIRO 1929 -1956STENA PROVENCEQUEEN MARY 2 and CELEBRITY SOLSTICEMARAMA 1907-1937Wellington Head OfficePORT NEW PLYMOUTH LAUNCHTARAWERA 1958-1974KIWITEA 1925-1955Rotorua 1910-1917MONOWAI  1890-1926RANGATIRA 1931- 1967WAINUI 1930-1958KAURI 1936-1962VancouverMATANGI 1929-1952Otaio 1958-1970KARAMEA & OCEAN BULK 1998-2003UNION HOBART 1976 -1984  SEAWAY HOBART 1984 -1988BUFFALOOPIHI 1923-1936KOTUKU  1900-1912BEAUTIFUL STAR 1875-1899CANADIAN HIGHLANDER SEAWAY PRINCESS 1976-1985Arahura