And now the wreck of the ship itself has been found.
The wreck of a ship carrying the remains of 499 Chinese gold miners has been discovered off Hokianga harbour 112 years after it disappeared.
SS Ventnor sank in 1902 on the northeast coast of the North Island while carrying the remains of the miners who had worked in the Otago goldfields.
The ship had been chartered by a Dunedin-based Chinese businessman to transport the exhumed remains of Chinese men who had died in New Zealand so they could be reburied at home.
On Wednesday the group who had been searching for the missing ship confirmed the wreck, which was found last year, was the Ventnor.