The Ship & Marine Society was formed in 1949 and is comprised of people from all sections of the community and from many different countries who have an interest in ships and maritime activities. Join us!
Our website contains a random selection of short articles, a list of maritime books and where they can be obtained, short histories of shipping companies, the ships and some personalities which trade or have traded to New Zealand, copies of our journal New Zealand Maritime News and Watts Shipping Register.
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 have been 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.
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