Skip to main content

NZ Shipwreck Welfare Trust

Our History

A Proud Record

Prior to 1900, there were some 1200 shipwrecks around the New Zealand coast and there were many heart breaking public appeals to raise monies for those lost or dependent. In 1902 the Mayor of Dunedin held a public meeting to set up a permanent shipwreck fund, rather than undertake individual appeals. From this meeting the Shipwreck Relief Society of New Zealand was formed and over the following 96 years it continued to play a unique, unobtrusive welfare role in providing immediate financial support to widows and families effected by shipwrecks and mishaps at sea around the New Zealand coast.

New Zealand based shipping and fishing companies, Port Authorities, and more latterly the Federation of Commercial Fishermen, as well as the general public, have provided much of the funding over the years. The Society, and its successor the New Zealand Shipwreck Welfare Trust from 1998, has given assistance to all the more prominent shipwrecks such as the Penguin 1909, Wimmera 1918, Manuka 1929, Niagara 1940, Holmglen 1959, Kaitawa 1966, Wahine 1968, and the Kotuku2006, plus many smaller craft, mainly fishing vessels.

In addition to providing financial assistance to dependents the Trust gives prominence to the promotion of safety at sea, as well as creating awareness of safety issues amongst seafarers. Some years ago the Trust financed the safety video Crossing the Bar to emphasize the care needed in negotiating West Coast bar harbours. The loss of the Lady Anna in 2013, when crossing the bar at Greymouth prompted the Trust to act. Last year the Trust and Maritime New Zealand provided 113 light weight inflatable life jackets (80 from the Trust and 33 from Maritime New Zealand) to West Coast fishermen. This programme has been very well received by the fishing industry and West Coast safety organisations.

Contact Us

PO Box 297

Wellington 6140

 

Level 6, Eagle Technology House

135 Victoria Street

Wellington

 

Phone 04 802 1501

Email: admin@nzswt.co.nz

News

Brand reputation put above people

We are not always who you think we are. Some of us get seasick, don’t like the taste of fishy fish, and can’t tell our hake from our hoki. .

Read more

A skipper while still a schoolboy

The annals of the fishing industry are sprinkled with stories of youngsters going to sea but not many can claim to hold a commercial skipper’s ticket while still at high school. Matt Howden did…

Read more

Don’t sit back, says young Whangarei skipper

At 32, Sam Hayes has been earning his living from fishing for more than half his life – and going to sea for longer than that.

Read more