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.  



STRAIT FERONIATATANA  1955-1970KALINGO 1930-1943PATEENA 1958-1975KORANUI 1956-1975WAIHORA 1883-1903Wanganui 1877-1888SPIRIT OF FREEDOMKAIAPOI  1906-1930TAUPATA 1939-1949MAORI 1875-1902KATEA 1958-1975Mataroa 1932-1957Grand Pacific HotelPiako 1962-1966Aotea Quay 1942KAITUNA 1956-1975RANGITIKI 1873-1898ARAHINA ASSISTING HIKITIATAMAHINE 1925-1962UNION MELBOURNE 1975 - 1980MARAMA 1969-1985  PORT INVERCARGILL 1958-1975SPIRIT OF CANTERBURYCap BadgeTAHITI 1911-1930STRAIT FERONIA passing STRAITSMANLEITRIM 1916-1929  NARBADA  1929-1948KARAMEA 1998-2003GreymouthKAREPO 1964-1978HOLMLEA 1936-1950TOFUA 1908-1934NAVUA 1904-1926KAIRANGA 1924Aotea Quay 1943Port ChalmersRINGAROOMA 1878-1901OVALAU 1891-1903HIKITIA and RAPAKI FPSO RAROAMataura 1968-1971Grand Pacific HotelWAITEMATA 1946-1967WANAKA 1876-1891Hororata 1942-1966WAITEMATA 1919-1932NGAKUTA 1942-1952MANUIAKORANUI 1885-1889