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.  



KATUI  1947-1967KOWHAI 1952-1973ARAHANGA 1972 - 2001PORT BRISBANE 1949-1975KAIMAI 1924-1952KAIWARRA 1919-1942ThevenardFLOATING DOCKMOERAKI 1902-1933KAMONA 1949-1965ATHELVISCOUNT  1965-1978Lincoln 1958-1965SPIRIT OF ENTERPRISE 2000-2003UNION SOUTH PACIFIC  1973 - 1978OMANA 1930-1951JohnKAITAKIEvans Bay LaundryKAKAPO 1937-1960LytteltonARAHURA AT THE END OF LINEWellington Patent SlipHOLMLEA 1936-1950KARAMU 1912KATEA 1958-19751952 BUSY PORTTALUNE 1891-1925SPIRIT OF RESOLUTION  1999 - 2012Ruapehu 1901-1931INAHASTRAIT FERONIAPORT JACKSON 1937-1967BARRETT REEF BUOYARAHURA at seaARAHURALoading CheeseHalcione 1880-1896WAIANA 1937-1966KAIPARA 1903-1914MANUKA 1903-1929BEAUTIFUL STAR 1875-1899TOFUA 1908-1934KINI 1930-1956PORT SYDNEY 1955-1972Remuera 1961-1967Aotea Quay 1943QUEEN MARY 2 and CELEBRITY SOLSTICEPORT NEW PLYMOUTH 1960-1979MATUA 1936-1968