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Welcome: Because of the amount of comments, support and input from members of the public having the total archive of comments on one page is now impractical. We have now separated the comments by year. 
If this is your first visit to the site I strongly recommend that you start from the beginning  (1999) as there are some great stories and links.

Comments for the year 2009

Email / Date

A little seasonal story about The Rimitaka, Christmas 1943. She was in the port of Takoradi, West Africa, and received a signal from the corvette HMS Amaranthus, asking if she had any supplies to offer for their crew's Christmas lunch. They had missed their own supplies because they had been called out to look for the survivors from a shot down plane. Rimitaka's Captain told them to send boats over, and they were loaded with all kinds of wonderful food and enough booze to ensure that everyone had a good time. How do I know this? My father was the first Lt in Amaranthus: now 88, he has never forgotten the kindness and generosity of the NZ ship's company, and often tells the story. Its latest telling was on this Christmas day to my Kiwi husband's nieces who were here with us!


M.V.Nottingham Built Browns Clydebank 1950 Had single 6 cyld Doxford & had a gross tonnage of 6689 I sailed her for 4 years to 1964


 My great grandfather was a captain in the Chilean merchant marine. He piloted many ships through the Straights of Magellan and Cape Horn (from 1900's to the late 40's). According to our family records he piloted the SS MV Orari in 1943 from Punta Arenas, Chile to Cape Pillar. I'm wondering if you have a picture or any other information about the Orari which looks like the 3rd ship with that name from New Zealand.


Somewhere in your vast site is some info on the last u.s. built wooden 3 mast skys'l Aryan. but i am going blind trying to read through everything to find it. other searches turn up nothing but nazi info especially if s.s. is included. my great-grandfather was crew on her around the horn. would like to know the location of her wreck. please thanks

Editor: Everybody in the industry knows that S.S stands for Steam Ship .. You would have gone blind because your Aryan is not a New Zealand Shipping vessel


Hello, My father worked for NZ Shipping during the 2nd world war. I would like to know if there would still be any record of his time with the company. He was English, name Edward William Baker. I will be visiting NZ in the next 2 months so will be able to make a personal inquiry if that is more appropriate. Thanks for your attention.

Best regards Deborah.


Is there any way I can find out about my uncle who was lost at sea on the "Rangitata" some time between 1946 and 1952 on a voyage from the UK to Ceylon, I believe.


I was on the last voyage of the m.v. Gloucester as 2nd.cook/baker and see that John taffy Evans was trying to contact anyone who made that trip.

He wrote in on-line comments in 2005 with an email address that is not vallid at this time.

Can he please contact me at my address

Tony Bradley


HI Jeff, very well done on a really fab site. Amazing. Joined NZS JEO 1966 Sufolk.4th EO Northmberland for years. Then Rakia, then ticket leave. Next was Cumberland as electrical e/o, Hinakura, Piako,Otiao then crushed on Vosges. Coasted Manniporuri, Matara for long periods. Would Like to contribute to the site, Missed Otiao reunion grrr, grrr, but am member of Durham and sadly still working till Nov 2010.

Chris Phelps


I am trying to locate information on the refrigerated steamship Ruahini. I believe the Ruahini was torpedoed while in a Panama-New York convoy (about 1943?) and although damaged, made it to New York. I am trying to locate information about the convoy and the incident.

Any advice would be useful.


Peter Jesser


During my family history research I have found an ancestor who sailed from Plymouth, England to Auckland, New Zealand on the Ruahine (official number 124582), 17 November 1915. 

According to the passenger list, Lance Corporal J Mycroft was among 154 British army soldiers on the ship but unfortunately no Regiment or other unit was mentioned.   It seems strange that such a large military unit was sent to New Zealand at this point in WWI so can you please give me any further information as to the reason behind these military personal going to NZ at this point of WWI. The passenger list gave no details of regiment, battalion, etc.

Janet Bennett


My father and grandfather served on the Rakaia after the war but when I'm not sure, I would be grateful for any help in obtaining any crew information.

My fathers name was Andrew Stobbie and my grandfather John (Jack) Millen, John built a wooden working replica of the Rakaia in 1949, I still have this, I hope this might help, thankyou very much for helping me
regards Rob


I am looking through some of my late fathers belongings and have found he sailed on the MV Cumberland in 1957 from Liverpool were he jumped ship in Australia can you give me any information his name was Victor Jones from Birkenhead

Michael Jones


comments: My great grandfather and his family came to Nz on the S.S.Papanui (Plymouth)in 1900. There was an onboard concert to raise money for 'the Merchant Seamans Orphan Asylum'. A concert programme was drawn (amazing artwork) listing all passengers and with photos of the captain and some of the crew.

Joy Tawhiao


I was fortunate to join NZS and sail as Engineer Cadet on Otaio, on (I think), Voyage 9, 3 Nov 1961, for two trips. Later, on Otaki, Essex, Paparoa, Devon, Gloucester, (final voyage), Otaio, (again, but then Jnr. Engineer), and Piako.

I have remained working in the shipping industry with Lloyds Register until now, but regret spending only a very brief time back in NZ. I also regret losing touch with almost all of my fellow cadets, (except Rory Walker) so would welcome the opportunity to catch up with any of them, (John Bainbridge, Jim Green, Dave Cullen, Chris Merren, Jerry Charters, to name a few).

Robert Hollis


As a family we set out from Southampton England on (I believe) 10/4/1959 aboard the Rangitane. Could anyone please point me in the right direction to locate the day that this journey docked in Wellington? We are looking to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our arrival.

Pauline Crowson


I have been reading this site for a few years and, love coming back to read the new entries. I thought it was time to redo my list of ships to see if anyone pops up from my incredible three years with NZSCo.

Pipiriki 9/3/66--18/7/66 DHU.

Somerset 5/10/66--20/2/67 DHU

Somerset 8/3/67--29/4/67 DHU.

Somerset 12/6/67--17/2/68 DHU.

Northumberland 11/7/68--26/10/68 EDH.

Piako 5/12/68--7/12/68 EDH. H/T.

all the best,

Ian Walsh (paddy)


Great memories as the "Galley Boy" on the Turakina...a one tripper !!!. Joint the Ship and sailed on 24th December 1970 from Lyttelton...the next day was the loneliest day of my life...after the Christmas lunch was given a half day.. starting at 2.30pm...the only one of two half days off in the next 3 months....walked thru the streets of "downtown Dunedin"...not a sinner in sight...and I knew all my family back in Lyttelton would be relaxing after a big Christmas dinner.

Remember Alan Perrin..The Bakery..2nd cook !..Nice guy. Bob Rutherford..the Chief Cook. John Parks and Bennie..the Stewarts shared a cabin next to me and the Pantry Boy. Joe Kingston ... Irish.. from Cork...Second Steward. The Kiwi "fridge engineer". Bad time to do one trip.. as we had "Time and Motion Company timekeepers" onboard for the whole trip around NZ, Fiji, Hawaii, the States and plenty of work was found to justify the 51 crew on the 7707 ton "Turakina"...Great memories.

Brian Tyro


My grandfather, Simon Henry LYON (S.H.Lyon) came from London to Sydney in 1904 with his family. He then continued to Auckland in the same year. I would like to find the passenger list for the Sydney to Auckland/Wellington leg, any suggestions appreciated.

John Oliver


I am trying to get information on the Papanui about when she broke down 300 miles off Auckland and was sailed into Auckland harbour by use of topped derricks and hatch tarps used as sails.

I served 9 months on Pipiriki and have recently met an old skipper of that ship who confirmed that this feat of seamanship actually took place and that the ship involved was the Papanui. Hoping you are able to help.



Hello all, like most on here I found your site by chance I also sailed with NSCO on the ss Dorset 1965 and MV GLOUCESTER IN 1966 like JOHN EVANS see comments 2005 this was GLOUCESTERS last voyage number 52 from London on the17/02/66 via the Panama canal to AUCKLAND arriving on the 23/03/66 we left wellington on the 30/04/66 on the return trip we broke down a few times once off Cuba and had a few fly by bys by noisy jets we arrived back to Hull on the 02/06/66 the music that John listen to was probably on my record player, boy what a trip for many reasons some very good and some very naughty, HAPPY DAYS.

Peter Wright


I see that Peter Wright has answered my posting of 2005 about the MV Gloucester. Peter can you please post your e-mail address on this site again, the one I have used keeps coming back to me. Thank you for the trip log of our journey on the Gloucester.

John Evans


 I was a deckhand on the MV MIDDLESEX in around 1955 when we sailed to NZ via the Panama canal, carrying a deck cargo of locomotives, our return cargo were lamb carcases ,and we were allowed to help load our own ship because the dockers were on strike ,imagine that happening in GB.

I would like a photo of the ship as mine has been lost and more details of the ship and trip as the only reference I can get is the original 1920 MV MIDDLESEX which was lost in 1941 during the war.

yours C H FRIEND


Regarding John Evans request to re-post my e-mail address PETER.L.WRIGHT@BTINTERNET.COM i hope this works if not it will be like ships passing in the night, take care all, PETER.



I served as apprentice and junior officer in Westmoreland, Hororata, Otaki, Kent, Tekoa, Hertford between 1928 and 1935, and have a complete record and photos.

Shall be glad to give information.

Brian Goord


I was on the mv taupo in Napier in New Zealand over Christmas and new years in 1974-75,,,i believe she was one of youre old ships mandami??? We was in napier around three weeks had a good time there, the essex was along side us another p&o ship. We set sail for the pitcairn islands and then into panama and then home to seaforth docks liverpool, they were good days .. Do you know where I can get any photos of the mv taupo and mv essex I would be very grateful

Vaughan Whitaker


The book you mention on NZ Shipping company ships is:

McLean, Gav in (editor)


GP Books, Wellington, 1989 (48pp)

ISBN 0477000150

I shall be using a copy belonging to my Father-in-law to create an article on the company and its ships on Wikipedia.

Richard Grevers


My grand father, FREDERICK BERNARD O'MEARA born in New Zealand 14 April 1872 started his career with the Union SS co in Wellington as an accountant. After serving a spell in Strahane Tasmania he was transferred to London office in 1913, where he spent the rest of his working life. 60 years in total! I understand that he retired as a director of NZSC.

If you have any further details you can assist me with I would be extremely grateful

Chris Power


I served at sea with the NZSCo from 1928 to 1935 and have an account of this time and photos of ships of both flags and would be glad to pass them to you.

Brian Goord


I served on the Rangitiki from July 1957 until 1959, starting as 11th Engineer and finishing as 5th Engineer. During this time the "TIKI" ran aground in the English Channel (when outward bound to New Zealand). divers came out to he vessel from Dover and inspected the underwater areas and we then proceeded to New Zealand. Upon arriving back in the UK we went into the King George Drydock for an inspection of the ships hull underwater. On another voyage

we experienced very high winds and we were virtually "Hove To". The Master Commodor Lettington, stated at the time that these were the worst conditions he had ever experienced. The First Officer at this time was Mr F Angus.

I joined the MN Cumberland in Newpcrt,S Wales in 1959 as the 5th Engineer and completed one voyage out to Australia via the Suez Canal. We sailed from Australia and returned to the UK via the Panama Canal. This was my 13th trip through the Panama Canal, having completed six round trips while serving on the "Rangitiki"

I joined the MV "Whangaroa" in Newark New Jersey, as the 4th Engineer, having flown over on a Charter Flight from the UK in November 1960. We were engaged on the "MANZ2 run and i remained with the ship until we returned to the UK and underwent a refit in Silley Cox at Falmouth. During this time I completed another transits of the Panama Canal.

Robert William Roberts



A while ago I bought a hammered pewter mug at a car boot fair, as I loved the form and patina.

When I got home, I saw it had an inscription in front " M.V.Rangitata".

In the internet I found out, that this was the name of one of your very famous ships, with a history dating back from before W.O.II.

I am very curious as to the history of my pewter mug: was it a kind of souvenir that could be bought on board, or was it made for the crew?

Could you tell anything about the occasion for which it was made and possibly its age?

I would be very grateful if you could help me to find out the story behind my pewter mug!

Yours truly

Laura de Bie-Volkers


I sailed on the Rangitoto out of Tilbury in December 1951. i was with a group of child migrants going to Wellington New Zealand. I am searching for the passenger list of that voyage. And any information regarding that voyage. We landed in Wellington January 1952... I was nine years old at the time. I am researching for my memoirs & manuscript. Thanking You Anthony Chambers


An Uncle of mine, Felix John Lennon, died on board MV Durham circa 1953. Ship was in New Zealand at the time. He is now buried in Dunedin and the shipping company have always maintained the ground where he lies. Do you have any records of what happened, crew members etc? 

Peter Alan Forster


Most interesting website. Started reading in 1999 section and was dismayed at the mis-information given especially that surrounding the Shipping Corporation of New Zealand being confused with the NZS Co and Vestey owning the NZS Co. (They owned the Blue Star Line) so I immediately went forward to 2009!!. I worked for the NZS Co Head Office in Wellington from 1954 to the demise in 1971 and continued on with P&O NZ until retirement as GM of P&O Containers in Auckland.

John Baine

Editor: The prime minister of the day Norman Kirk tried to kick start a vertically integrated logistical transportation system from farm gate to overseas consumer. Maritime disputes between union and management and UK's attempted entry in the common market played a major part in the shifting fortunes in the ownership and the name of Shipping Corporation of NZ, NZ Shipping Corporation, New Zealand Line ... Len Chapman a regular contributor wrote a excellent piece that adds to the ongoing thread.

It would be an excellent opportunity to get your management perspective on your relationship with Government Ministers, NZ Port Authorities and the dynamics of dealing with the different branches of the Union movement and its personnel. Now that would be an interesting time capsule for someone who has so much knowledge and time to share.


Joined nzsco's Otaio on December 12th 1968 as one of many Navigating cadets on their first trip. Fred Angus was in Command, Charles Mallard Turner was first officer. I served my apprenticeship on many of the "companys" vessels including the  Rakaia, Westmoreland, Taupo, Devon and after p&o put their emblem on The funnel the Shaharistan. Would love to catch up with some great blokes i sailed with back then. Phil Tester, John Munns and "Dougal" Macmillan come to mind. Lets hope someone recognises my name. I have now swallowed the hook this past 20 years, pleased to locate this site.

Ian Sarjeant


From the "The Descendants of John FYFE , circa 1730" ( William BISHOP (1817-1884) began a shipping line in conjunction with some other Wellington fathers. The following four ships were registered under his name: 'Rangatira', 'Tui', 'Matau' & 'Huia'.
When he sold out, the new owners renamed the line 'NZ Shipping Co' (colours - green hull, red & black funnel). When he died, all ships in the harbour carried their flags at half mast.

Robert Vruink


I served with NZS 65-70, but am making an enquiry for a friend whose father served on the old Westmoreland 1931-35, rising to Chief Engineer.

If anyone has any info on him (surname Llewelyn) I would be very pleased to hear. With thanks. Peter Edwards


Was on Rangitoto, Haparangi, Hurunui, Westmorland, Tekoa, Essex, Cumberland like to here from anyone that new me was ass steward then 2nd steward. nickname wing commander good days from 1968 to 1977. then left the sea lived in NZ ever since.

Dave Evans


Radio Officer m.v. Taupo 1978/79.

David Barlow


I joined NZS in 1968 as a Junior Engineer and sailed on many of the fridge ships over some 14 years before being transferred to P&O bulk shipping, were I took early retirement in 1984. I would love anybody to contact me who can remember me from those magical days.
Regards Chris Winlow Ex Chief Ref Engineer


I came across this site today and found it very interesting. I sailed with the NZSC  from 1959 to 1968 serving in the engine room on Durham, Paparoa, Hinakura, Hurunui, Huntingdon, Rakaia and Kent (tanker). If anyone remembers me please get in touch, it would be great to chat over old times.

Bill Corsar


I am trying to find a picture of the S.S. Paparoa! My grandfather served the majority of his Merchant Navy time on her in the Second World War Any ideas on where i may find one?

Kevin Dite


I keep dipping in to this excellent site. I last made a 'post' to it on 29.8.07 when I said that I joined the MV Otaio as one of 9 rookie Deck Cadets but had lost touch with two cadets who also joined that day - namely Bruce Hardy and Carl (Roly) Rolaston. Alas I understand that Bruce Hardy passed away last year (does anyone have any more details?).

Sadly another of our merrie band of nine - Tim King - also passed away two years ago. If  anyone knows of the whereabouts of Carl Rolasaton I would still be be great to hear from you. Keep up the good work with this engaging site. Gary Jones


My first trip was on the Rangitiki in 1953 as a messman to the greasers i done 4 trips And then went to the Otaki from there i went to the Essex and finnaly to the Cambridge I was a messman a main greaser a donkey greaser and a fridg greaser i left in 1957 I would very much like to get a photo of the Rangitiki. I will never forget the time spent with NZSC

Leonard King


I am trying to find which ship of the New Zealand Shipping co, My grandfather left England as a steward in 1914, in order to join the New Zealand defence force and fight in the first world war. He arrived in New Zealand in august of 1914 as he was recruited on 30/08/1914. His name was Herbert Ney Warren 

Ronald Warren


You have in your list:
Whakatane 1900 - 24*
Whakatane 1954
Can I ask you if the first one Whakatane ship* was at Buenos Aires port at 1907, please?

Thank you for any response.
Luis Havas


I sailed on my first trip to sea on the MV Cumberland as 2nd Radio Officer. From London to Auckland and round the coast. April 1974

Chris Turner


I was in Wellington NZ when chef steward Mr Byrn sadly died i served on many trips with him i found him to be a great chef

David Hatchard


Just been reading John Sutts post on the NZSCo site about Wild curlew etc.

I was engineer with P&O from 74-79 and was 4th on Wild Curlew sometime around 76/77 I think and also sailed on Wild Auk, Sussex, Otaio, Tongariro amongst others. Recognised a few names from your list, Roger Leachman I remember and I did several trips with both Pete Lafeet and Ticker at various times.

Pete was 3rd on my first trip on the Sussex. He joined in Liverpool and had bought an old bentley which we shipped back to Wellington. He then drove it up to Auckland with 3 of us along , including the 4th eng who was getting married in Auckland( cant remember his name after all this time). I remember we all went to the wedding in uniform and were very popular with the female relations and friends of the bride!



I was an assistant steward aboard the RANGITANE 7/7/1958 TO 1/10/1958 I was a passenger on the MV WHARANUI Oct 1964 and I worked my passage home on the MV AKARDA 5/3/1969 as a BRS. Is this of any use to your records Gordon Owen Jones

Editor: Of course, its all about sharing brother.


Hello, I have just received a diary of my mother-in law's which was written in 1950 when her and her mother Ida Mitchell travelled from Auckland NZ on the Rangitata London (19th May 1950) and returned to Australia on the Himalaya on it's maiden voyage

Tina Jackson


Gordon Scott was second engineer on the Nottingham, Hertford, Wild Auk, Sussex, anyone out there

Susan Scott

I sailed with NZS on Rakia, Westmorland, and Hinakura as 5th / 4th Engineer 1969 to 1971 and would be interested to hear from any of my old shipmates (Sailed previously with Royal Mail Lines 1966 / 69)

James M Miller


My first trip to sea was on the surrey. I joined the ship on the 25/7/56 as junior engineer, with the promise of a transfer to the electrical staff of the company on my return. We departed Liverpool bound for Australia passing through the panama canal. Our first port of call being Sydney. We arrived back in the UK London where I discharged on 23 Dec 56.

E Lennon


Was looking for the federal ship m.v.cornwall. sailed on her for several years 1954 to 1956 was probably built in early 1950s how would i get a photo regards Tim O'Connell

I served as Deck boy on the Rangitikis final voyage, as the youngest member of the crew I was selected to present the captain with a oil painting of the ship, does anyone have photos of this event? I then sailed on the Hauraki and done 13 months on the Gloucester.

Colin Ross 


Seeking shipmate R.E. JAMIESON, serving on the RIKAIA, April - June, 1949, who settled in Auckland with family after leaving Liverpool, England. Robert Kirk

Sailed on the m.v Northumberland july-dec.1957 she was built in 1955,10335gt.was built to be the Turakina for the n.z co. broken up in Hong  Kong in 1978.
A very fine ship

Brian C Williams


My father served aboard the Samesk (later Leicester) from 1945. He is now in his 80's and has many memories of this ship and others in the fleet as he remained connected to the maritime world (shipping companies and maritime insurance) through to his retirement.

Martin Gegg  


I am trying to make contact with anyone who may know of my birth father, Michael George Newnham who served on the Cumberland, and was in New Zealand in 1959, and possibly 1960.

He was born in Brighton, and had on brother and two sisters, I also have his previous home address for 1959, should any one need clarification.

Many Thanks Josie


Hi, Does anyone remember my father J.W.(Bill) Spence from Orkney. He served with NZSCO from around 1960-1970 as 3rd and 2nd mate aboard Northumberland and Tekoa amongst others. One interesting story he recounts from onboard Tekoa in 1970 is meeting the Balsa wood raft 'La Balsa' off the Galapagos Islands. The skipper, Vital Alsar was trying to sail from South America to Polynesia to prove that the early Polynesians could have done it. We still have the newspaper cuttings. If anyone remembers Dad please get in touch.
Steven Spence


I sailed on mv Hertford between 1948-1951 and on mv Huntingdon 1951-1952 and finally on RMS Rangitata 1952-1954. Firstly as junior engineer and finally as third engineer. Would like to hear from any fellow shipmate.

Neil Maclean


My father, William Gallagher joined the Ruahine at Geenock on 28/04/1951 as captain steward to Capt. Ian Robertson. The vessel proceeded on trails and then sailed round to Royal Victoria Docks. He sailed as Captain Steward on Ruahine's maiden voyage.

He actually sailed as Captain Steward for 12 voyages, finally leaving New Zealand Shipping Company in February 1955. He is still alive and reminisces about his seaboard days, particularly in New Zealand. He recalls that the MD of NZS in NZ at that time was Frank Speight. He also recalls a director, Tom Marchington. Company chauffeur at that time was a good mate of his called Mick Beagley. He has a wealth of knowledge about the early days on the Ruahine and wishes anyone who shared those early days his best regards. He doesn't have a computer but I can put you in touch with him. Stephen Gallagher


I am trying to find the list of crew that were aboard the Awatea when she sunk.

My father in law a "Mr Richard James Burns" was aboard at the time. Can anyone help me as to how I can go to a site to find a list of the crew. Would be a great record for his grandchildren to have.

Thanks - Christine Burns


I was a passenger on the MV Rangitata which sailed from Tilbury Docks London to Auckland NZ. in Jan/Feb 1957. Sir Anthony Eden was a first class passenger on the same voyage. Should anyone wish, I can scan the passenger list for the MV Rangitata's voyage from London to Auckland in Jan/Feb 1957 and email the information. There would be no charge for this.

I would of course love to hear from any fellow passengers on that voyage, especially one a Miss Nora Brooks whom I befriended and who was travelling on to Porirua. I would like to congratulate Jeff Shaw on a wonderful website, it makes such interesting reading .. Nigel Kelso

Editor: You're welcome

Enjoy looking at this site each day, still looking for ex shipmates from mv Essex  1960/62,i was 4th eng.,still looking for Bill Halton, ex radio op., well done Jeffrey for this wonderful site, all the best for the future Archie Clark


My father, Neil Mackinnon Graham was on the RMS Rimutaka that left New York in 1944. On board was HRH the Duke of Gloucester who was to be installed as the Governor General of Australia. As Dads memory not as hot as it use to be can anyone tell us where we could get the details of this particular voyage. Thanks ever so much. Sue


Great Site, Joined the Westmoreland in 77 - 75 as Junior R/O then on to the Sussex, Tongariro and Wild Cormorant. Eventually got loaned to Ferries and then got the push for living outside the UK
Edwin (Ed) Jennings


Sailed as 4th RO in Rangitoto early 60s (Captain Fulcher), then Hinakura, Nottingham, Hororata. Anyone know the whereabouts of ROs Rodney Redhead, Bill Shepherd, Robin Miller, Roger Hiscock? Stuart Edwards

Hi guys! i sailed on the Middlesex in 1963 as stwds/boy {first trip} out through the Panama and back via Suez we did kiwi, and then meddy ports. we got a walloping in the Aussie bight! i then did 2trips on  the Toto, the final trip of the Remmy, then one on the Surrey. i also sailed on the Braemar Castle, Auckland Star and the port wellington. I have lived in Adelaide for 40 odd years now, but still  think about my old shipmates and the good times! good luck and stay safe! Roger Sharplin


Good morning Mr Shaw, I had the pleasure of sailing with the NZSCo ,on the TSS Hororata. I joined the ship in London on the 22/4/1960 as a deckhand & after 3 trips in her, I left her on the 14/1/61.I recall she used to have a Planes propeller in the mess deck, I believe a rescue of aircrew was carried out sometime, if my memory is correct !I well remember the Happy times on board that ship & have good memories of the officers in general & the Bosun (whose name was  Jim,& who was a slight built man of small stature, but strong personality, from London area ).I sailed with a few companies in my time at sea, but none could compare to the NZSCo! Barry Turrell


I have enjoyed the information re SS Papanui Official No 165898 and George Hade who traveled on her. Does he remember an Eric Maund who left the SS Papanui at Napier on August 1945. I will be interested as to the sailing date from England  Ava L Brown


I have a painting by G P Wiseman of "OPAWA" N Z S Co 1876 215ft 1076tons. It depicts a clipper type sailing ship under full sail of Dartmouth/Salcombe Devon. This information is contrary to your listings Any information would be helpful. Phil Hay

You have so much interesting info. My GGG Grandfather was a Boat Builder in Scotland, also my GG Grandfather and travelled to NZ & returned to the UK in1913 on the original Paparoa of the NZSCo I am a Kiwi living in Aust, but my brother spends 6 months at sea.

So you can probably see why I have found your WHOLE site interesting. Thanks for the effort.  Glenys Orr


Came across your site by accident and noticed a comment from a John Hope I think) about being on the Otaio in 1962 when it visited Pitcairn Island. I was on the vessel that year and we visited twice, although on the second voyage we were not able to land the mail, as the sea was too rough for the Islanders to launch their long boat. On the first voyage

I purchase a wooden flying fish made by Sam Young one of the descendents from the 'Bounty'. I still have it. Nigel Cook


Galley boy on Turakina June 76 - Feb 77. Joined her in Yokohama, coasted around Japan, then sailed to NZ (got stripped naked, covered in paint/grease/feathers when we crossed the equator ?) Coasted around NZ (met loads of lovely ladies), Xmas in Lyttelton then sailed back to UK (Bristol) via Panama Tony Fairway


Served on 2 N.Z.S.Co. Ships (1)..R.M.S. Rangitata. (1958) (2)..S.S. Tongariro. (1959) Was able to visit Relations (M.D of Recket Coleman & Chiswick in Dunedin, also other relations in Napier, Wellington & Auckland.Now in my 70's I fondly remember the time I visited N.Z. I have NO regrets for the time I spent at sea. Paul. Straker


Brian C. Williams comment re Samesk, subsequently Leicester. My last trip with the NZS Co., Ltd., was as a cadet on board Samesk 1947/1948. We went to Montreal thence via Cape Town to Australia. 47 days at sea apart from 6 hours in Cape Town. The only other cadet was Willy Bell. The captain was Harwood. I do not recall anyone named Williams but, then, I cannot remember the names of most of the crew. Jeremy lloyd


My Father was the Radio officer and Medical Officer on the M.V. Kaimata on the 7th March 1941 when the ship ran over a German Sub in the Nth Atlantic. I have found out what sub it was! The HMAS Sydney and the Kaimata were tied up to the same Bollards at Freemantle 11/11/1941. I have picture of Kaimata under sail when she broke down 19/11/1941 before she sailed into Melbourne Harbour 7/12/1941. Dad was injured while on the Kaimata. He rupture his right ear. Dad was William Crawford Scott 13/10/1913 - 9/11/2009 - He was 96 Donald Iain Scott


My Grandfather, Robert George Beavis - known as George - joined the NZSC in 1935. Very little is known about this period in his life. Are there any records available that would help me find out what ships he served on and the routes they would have sailed. He left the Merchant Navy in 1942 and settled in Wellington, NZ. Any help would be much appreciated. Jacquie Fisher


I have a diary from 1960, written by someone who was on the MV Rangitata to Wellington, leaving on Friday 15th January. I suspect that it is the wife of a business man on a trip to New Zealand. The name seems to be Deeks and there are references to 'Gore Independent Exchange Ltd.' and 'Francis Chapman Sons and Deekes Ltd.' The names referred to in the diary are: Florrie & Reg, Peggy & Gordon, Leslie.

I would like to return the diary to the family if possible, as it is very interesting - a delightful account of  life at sea, particularly the crossing of the International Date Line:  "Missed Monday as had to put clocks forward 24 hours. I don't know why but had to do it all the same." The diary came from a village fair in Norfolk about 25 years ago. Joan Ryder

Editor I have qualified this ladies intentions even suggesting she give it away to the New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland. I have deliberately left off her email address just to monitor what manner of response comes through as i get a number of folk who try to flog off items.

I don't want any money - I have a diary which I would really like to return to the family of the writer. I thought the website would be a good way to find anything out. Joan Ryder



Joined M/V Wharanui in Napier, N Z in 62 as replacement A/B did the Manza run to Montreal, Capt was a R Hanaway acc to my discharge book. On our return to Aus a Stevedore was killed whilst working dunnage, Christmas eve 1962 in Adelaide, That will be 42 years ago tomorrow, I can still visualise the little procession of dockers as they sadly walked off the ship that day. A sad memory, of a very happy little ship  H Holmes


Hi there, the book on the history of NZS Co & Federal S N Co is Merchant Fleets 7, written by Duncan Haws and pubished by TCL publications, Burwash, East Sussex TN19 7BW. The British Library catalogue No is ISBN0946378029.

The book lists and details all of the ships from 1873 to 1980 including line drawn illustrations. Hope this helps. Bob Morgan ex Rangitani and Somerset.


My dad James (Jimmy) Gow sailed with NZ Steamship Co from I guess 1936 until just after the end of WW2. I think his first ship was the Rangitata, then the Hurunui which was torpedoed in 1940. Dad sailed from Newcastle on the ill fated trip leaving mum with relations, she travelled to my grandparents in Alexandria, Scotland. Dad arrived there unexpectedly having been picked up by a corvette and landed at Greenock on the river Clyde. Dad recalled sailing past the Graf Spee after she scuttled off Montevideo on 17 December 1939 - 70 years ago yesterday, his ship had been sent south to avoid the raider . I think his next ship was the Sussex. Dad passed away in 1996 and mum last year. The voyage record book which was with his papers only shows dates of departure and arrival due to wartime restrictions so we are trying to piece together what we can from scarce diary entries and memories (like the code used to get round wartime censorship - mum got a telegram saying he had ! visited aunt may - code for Singapore, shortly before it fell), happily dad arrived safely in Australia. I know it is a long shot that any of dad's shipmates are still around but shall be grateful to hear from anyone who may remember him or have any stories. David Gow


Hi Jeffrey and all subscribers to this fantastic web site, just wish you all a happy Christmas and a very good new year, keep up the good work Jeffrey. I check in daily to catch up on all the gossip, cheers Archie


To all my ex shipmates on the Federal line MV Gloucester, all your readers, and you Mr Shaw, i wish you all a happy new year. Cheers  John Evans

Editor: Back at you John