New Zealand Company ships

The New Zealand Company was a 19th-century English company that played a key role in the colonisation of New Zealand. The company was formed to carry out the principles of systematic colonisation devised by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who envisaged the creation of a new-model English society in the southern hemisphere. Under Wakefield's model, the colony would attract capitalists who would then have a ready supply of labour—migrant labourers who could not initially afford to be property owners, but who would have the expectation of one day buying land with their savings.

New Zealand Company Coat of Arms

The New Zealand Company established settlements at Wellington, Nelson, Wanganui and Dunedin and also became involved in the settling of New Plymouth and Christchurch. It reached the peak of efficiency about 1841, encountered financial problems from 1843 from which it never recovered, and wound up in 1858.

This list details the various ships used by the Company in establishing its settlements in New Zealand at Wellington, Nelson, and New Plymouth up to 1843.

First settlers arriving at Petone, Wellington Harbour
Port Nicholson Harbour in the early 1840s
New Plymouth in 1842