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 FERONIASPIRIT OF ENTERPRISE 2000-2003KAIRANGA 1924WATERSIDERDominion Monarch 1938-1962TYRONE  1912-1913EL CIERVODunedinShipping WellingtonLoading CheeseTanker AUSTRALIA at Point Howard Wharf c.1930PORT CHALMERS 1969-1982NUSA PUTERACORDOBAWAIMARINO 1915-1926MANUKA 1903-1929TARAWERA 1958-1974KAIMAI 1956-1972QUEEN MARY 2 and CELEBRITY SOLSTICENewcastleAlexander 1903-1950KAITAWA 1949-1966Patea Wharves 1953NAVUA 1955-1971MAUNGANUI 1911 - 1947WAIMATE 1951-1972Ruahine 1909-1949ARAHURA 1905-1925SPIRIT OF CANTERBURYHOLMBURN 1957HOLMPARK 1965-1972RANGITIKI 1873-1898Sydney Office WAITEMATA 1919-1932Napier OfficeHOLMWOOD 1952-1972Brittanic 1967-MIDDLESEXRAKAIA 1873-1892UNION TRANS TASMAN 1973 -1977RIMUTAKA 1884-1899Alchiba UnloadingKARITANE 1939-1965PAMIR 1942-1948Rakaia 1946-1966PORT WYNDHAM 1935-1966.WAINUI 1887-1929PIAKO 1920-1941