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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Coastal Shipping

The oldest shipping firm on the New Zealand coast is that of Richardson and Co., of Napier, which celebrated its centenary in 1959. It was begun by Captain John Campbell, owner of the tiny schooner Hero, who, when he built a 45–ton steamer, the Fairy, was partnered by G. E. G. Richardson. For many years Richardson not only lightered cargoes to and from overseas ships in Napier roadstead but also “worked” some 75 open landings along the east coast of the North Island, besides trading from Auckland south to Lyttelton. Their present fleet comprises six modern motor vessels. With the expansion of settlement and the growth of trade came many small coastal steamship concerns which served with varying fortune over the years. Many faded out following the development of roads and railways. During the height of the West Coast gold rush of the 1860s, Hokitika was one of the busiest ports in the country; it is practically deserted today. One survivor of that era is the Anchor Shipping and Foundary Co., of Nelson, which was started in 1862 by Edwards and Co. and reorganised in 1880. Another old-established firm with a colourful history is the Northern Steamship Co. Ltd., which was formed in 1881 to take over the business of the Auckland Steam Packet Co. and sundry local shipping interests. Other small ship coastal companies of today are the Canterbury Steam Shipping Co. Ltd., founded in 1904 by A. H. Turn-bull and Co., of Christchurch, and Holm and Co., of Wellington, founded about that time by the late Captain Ferdinand Holm. All the present fleets of these companies are of modern motor vessels.