Despite a slight increase in the number of shipping accidents, the loss of lives declined sharply in the 20th century. The number of accidents includes all wrecks, collisions and fires reported to the Marine Department. Loss of life includes crew and passengers. The figures are for the year ending 31 March. Therefore, the wreck of the Tararua in April 1881 is included in the figures for 1882.
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Source: ‘Wrecks and casualties to shipping’, Marine Department Reports, Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives 1867–1940; figures for 1860–66 have been compiled from C. W. N. Ingram, New Zealand shipwrecks, 1795–1975. 5th ed. Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1977