Topic: Northern Steamship Company Rescued Treasure

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Northern Steamship Company Ledger  

In a classic tale of lost treasure found, thirty-two ledgers from the Northern Steamship Company were discovered and salvaged from decay during a clean up of the Cargo Shed, Dive Crescent, in 2004. These ledgers, which are now part of the Heritage Collection, offer the reader an intriguing glimpse into Tauranga’s shipping and commercial history.

The Northern Steamship Company began trading in 1881 and almost immediately became Tauranga’s only regular shipping link to Auckland. Initially the town’s residents were far from impressed. Letters to the Bay of Plenty Times complained about its unreliable service and apparent monopoly. It was claimed that Tauranga had been ‘robbed of the Union Company’ and had been ‘scandalously treated’. Despite this cool reception the Northern Steamship Company’s Tauranga to Auckland run continued well into the twentieth century.

The rescued ledgers date between 1927 and 1943. They list goods transported by the ships, Ngapuhi, Otimai, Ronaki, Ranginui, Kapiti, Tuhoe, and Matangi and include the names of companies and individuals who collected the goods at the town wharf. SS Matangi was purchased specifically for the Tauranga service and features amongst the earliest ledger entries. The Matangi ran three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the 1920s. It left Auckland at 7pm and generally arrived in Tauranga around 7am the next morning. It had a cargo capacity of 24000 cubic feet and accommodation for over one hundred passengers.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Northern Steamship Company Rescued Treasure by Tauranga Heritage Collection is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License