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.  



KOMATA 1947-1967ZEPHYR 2Wellington Patent SlipMenu 1958MAWHERA 1885-1902NGAPARA 1966-1986AWATEA 1936-1942Helen Denny 1900-1912HOLMWOOD 1924-1939Tongariro 1901-1916MAUNGANUI 1911 - 1947KAREPO 1929-1954KAMO 1947-1958Wellington 4 FerriesHAURAKI 1922-1942ENDEAVOURPort KemblaFoundry Staff 1905ARATIKA 1974-1998OROWAITI 1887-1903KONUI 1949-1969STRAIT FERONIA passing STRAITSMANCargo Plan Wairata 1957WANAKA 1938-1965Hororata at OpuaEDWIN FOX 1873-1886OROWAITI  1921-1924Shipping at WanganuiHororata 1942-1966NGAKUTA 1962-1983Mataura 1968-1971Heywood Landing at AttuTAVIUNI 1890-1924ThevenardStraitsman 1992-2002CONTAINER TERMINAL DAMAGE EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE AT WELLINGTON CONTAINER TERMINALKOONYA 1957-1971KOKIRI 1951-1968UNION NEW ZEALAND 1972 - 1978MARAROA 1885-1931NAVUA 1904-1926BUSY QUEENS WHARFOtaio 1958-1970WAITEMATA 1919-1932KAWERAU 1955-1975Evans Bay LaundryWAIMARINO 1930 - 1957IAN FELTHAM INTERVIEW