Out of the Box and the New Zealand Shipping Co

On 2nd September 2013, the first of a series of small exhibitions will open at the Bill Laxon Maritime Library at Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum. The exhibition will remain in place for 1 or 2 months in a case  installed in the Edmiston Gallery.

The 'Out of the Box' exhibition series will showcase some of the paper objects (e.g. books, archives, manuscripts original documents and photographs) that are normally kept in boxes in storage and are only seen when needed for research enquiries or for temporary exhibitions.

Ref: 4-960, Looking south from the harbour over the Auckland waterfront showing the premises of the New Zealand Shipping Company Limited, 1892, Sir George Grey Special Collections
In keeping with the theme this month - Merchant Navy Day (commemorated on 3rd September to honour those who served during WW2), the first exhibition will celebrate the140th Anniversary of the New Zealand Shipping Company.

Ref: 1-W1090, Looking south towards Queen St showing general activity on Queen St Wharf with the NZ Shipping Company and Northern Roller Milling Company in Quay St East, 1904, Sir George Grey Special Collections

The New Zealand Shipping Company was first registered in Christchurch on 6th January 1873. On the 12th September 1873 Hindostan the first ship owned by the New Zealand Shipping Company left London and arrived in Auckland on the 28th December 1873. In 1874 Hindostan was renamed Waitara..

Future themes for exhibitions will include: Auckland Harbour Board anniversaries, maritime firsts in NZ, 19th century immigration ship arrivals, shipping company anniversaries, shipwrecks,  WW1 commemorations and yachting events.

Ref: 1-W318, looking east from the Ferry Buildings to Campbell's Point, showing sheds at entrance to the wharves (left), and the NZ Shipping Company Buildings on corner of Railway Street, 1924, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Auckland Libraries has a large range of heritage resources relating to the New Zealand Shipping Company including: history of the company, passenger lists, the company's sailing ships and accounts from employees. The Heritage Images database also has a wonderful and rich array of photographs showing the company's premises and activities on the Auckland waterfront. Simply enter the keyword term New Zealand Shipping Company or use the Advanced Search option to select a specific year or decade.


  1. My dad, eric wilson and his comrades of the 67 medium regt. royal artillary sailed to egypt on the rms Rangitiki in1942. I still have a photo of the ship taken at the time.

  2. Absolutely wonderful. I will definitely share it. Thank you!


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