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StraitNZ Limited
IndustryPassenger and freight shipping, freight forwarding and logistics
PredecessorStrait Shipping, Streamline Freight, Freight Lines
FounderJim Barker and Dennis Dow[1]
HeadquartersWellington, New Zealand
Area served
New Zealand
ParentChamp Equity
StraitNZ Freight Forwarding
StraitNZ Linehaul
Santa Regina in Wellington Harbour, 2007

StraitNZ (formerly Strait Shipping Limited and Bluebridge) is a New Zealand firm that operates roll-on/roll-off freight and passenger shipping across the Cook Strait, between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island and trucking and logistics services across New Zealand, formerly under the separate companies Streamline Freight and Freight Lines.[2] Passenger services commenced in 2002 and operate under the Bluebridge brand.[3][4] Strait Shipping has in the past also operated freight shipping between Wellington and Napier, also in the North Island, and Nelson and Lyttelton in the South Island.


The company has its origins in Otorohanga Transport, founded by Jim Barker and Dennis Dow in 1963.[1] By 2016, the Barker Group had 750 staff across New Zealand.[1]

Inter-island ferry operations began in 1992 as Strait Shipping Limited[4] to compete with the Interisland Line, owned by the then state-owned enterprise New Zealand Rail Limited (renamed Tranz Rail in 1995). Bluebridge was launched as the passenger service brand of Strait Shipping in 2003.[5]

In 2016, Strait Shipping was sold to Australian-based[6] Champ Private Equity Group.[5] At the same time, Champ Group also purchased trucking companies Freight Lines and Streamline Freight, which had both been separately owned by the Barker family.[5]

Renamed StraitNZ[edit]

On 29 March 2018 Strait Shipping Limited was renamed StraitNZ Bluebridge,[7] and the Bluebridge brand continued.[2] Freight Lines and Streamline Freight (with the exception of Bulklines and Stocklines, retained by the Barker family)[5] were rebranded as "StraitNZ Linehaul" and "StraitNZ Freight Forwarding"[2] respectively and are now 100% owned the same parent company as Bluebridge,[8][9] StraitNZ Limited.

Bluebridge fleet[edit]


Name Built Entered service Gross tonnage Passengers Notes
Straitsman 2005 2010 13,906 GT
Strait Feronia 1997 2015 21,856 GT 400


Name Built Entered service Gross tonnage Passengers Notes
Straitsman 1972 1992–2004 1,481 GT now Sinu-I-Wasa with Venu Shipping
Suilven 1974 1995–2004 3,638 GT
Kent 1977 2001–2010 6,862 GT
Santa Regina 1985 2002–2015 14,588 GT
Monte Stello 1979 2006–2010 11,630 GT Lost power in Tory Channel on 2 May 2008.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Charles Riddle (9 September 2016). "Obituary: Transport giant Jim Barker's legacy will be felt for decades to come". Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Strait NZ – Our Story". Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Bluebridge – About Us". Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b "The Strait Shipping story". Strait Shipping. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Chloe Winter (6 December 2016). "New Zealand transport companies sold, new owner eyes growth". Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Australian Company Buys Cook Strait Ferries". Otago Daily Times. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Particulars of Name Change". Companies Office. 29 March 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  8. ^ "StraitNZ Linehaul Limited". Companies Office. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  9. ^ "StraitNZ Freight Forwarding Limited". Companies Office. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Passenger Ferry Monte Stello, Loss of Power, Tory Channel, 2 May 2008". Transport Accident Investigation Commission. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Pollard, Neil (2007). Straitsman: Lifeline to an Island. Caulfield South, Vic.: Nautical Association of Australia. ISBN 9780959907988.

External links[edit]