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Celebrating our 75th Anniversary

From wartime duty To Kaikoura’s rescue Happy Birthday to the Royal New Zealand Navy






DIRECTORY Published to inform, inspire and entertain serving and former members of the RNZN, their families and friends and the wider Navy community. Navy Today is the official magazine of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Published by Defence Public Affairs, Wellington. Navy Today is now in its twentieth year of publication. Views expressed in Navy Today are not necessarily those of the RNZN or the NZDF.


Contributions are welcomed, including stories, photographs and letters. Please submit stories and letters by email in Microsoft Word or the body of an email. Articles up to 500 words welcomed, longer if required by the subject. Please consult the editor about long articles. Digital photos submitted by email also welcomed, at least 500kb preferred.

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EDITOR: Andrew Bonallack Defence Public Affairs HQ NZ Defence Force



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From wartime duty To Kaikoura’s rescue

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Celebrating our 75th Anniversary





Happy Birthday to the Royal New Zealand Navy


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RADM John Martin, ONZM


s I write, December has clicked over in the calendar signalling the festive month and the last few weeks of our 75th Anniversary Year. Throughout the year, we have also conducted the normal activities of the Navy. We continued to train, participated in exercises; including RIMPAC, conducted workups and deployed on operations from the Southern Ocean to the Equator, including disaster relief operations afar and at home. Last month’s International Naval Review and the events in the South Island underscored how professional and agile our Navy is. The International Naval Review was the culmination of nearly two years intensive planning and was executed in a manner that brought credit to you all. We did not achieve it alone; Army and Air Force colleagues, whole of government agencies, sponsors and Auckland City provided support and capacity. And we needed it. Running a very large, highly complex, multi-dimensional naval operation while responding to the earthquake in Kaikoura, adapting to the closure of Defence House and supporting operations from Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand certainly gave us a workout. Key to our ability to managing the opportunities that arose over November was the relationships we have developed and nurtured over time. Those included our partnerships with NZ Police, Customs, MFAT, academia and commercial entities. It was also practically demonstrated through the presence of the Navies that visited us. They are our close friends and representatives of an international naval network of like-minded countries with whom we protect and support the international maritime system of laws and behaviours. We have served with them on operations, some have mentored and partnered us through the last 75 years and I hope we will work with all of them in the decades to come.

Last month’s International Naval Review and the events in the South Island underscored how professional and agile our Navy is. In view of the scale and breadth of the challenges we all face in the maritime environment, none of us can do it alone. The relationships we develop in support of our mission are important whether they are with foreign navies, government agencies or within the NZDF. At this time we also need to reflect on the support of family and friends closer to home who provide more practical support to us as we lead a life less ordinary at sea. We could not do our job without the love and understanding of our supporters. Please show your appreciation to whanau and friends for their support and patience. It is truly appreciated by me.

The New Zealand Navy values the bond it shares with partners who do business on great waters. This bond often transcends other differences and makes it possible for us to work constructively together in conditions of mutual respect and understanding that are often more difficult to achieve in other spheres.

We must now look to the coming year. We must continue to deliver our current Navy and design and work towards the Navy after next, prepare for the introduction of new ships and ensure that we have the right leadership to take us forward. It is an exciting time to be in our Navy.

We have much in common. We share similar aims and concerns. We rejoice in the freedom to be able to use the seas as a global common, we are invested in the protection of the international frameworks that allow our goods to travel across the globe – mainly by sea. We all participate according to our capability and competencies. This is particularly so when it comes to relieving suffering brought about by natural disasters and protecting the innocent from lawlessness and terror. In these circumstances differences of scale are less apparent.

Yours Aye

Chief of Navy



Our Collective Purpose


MONDAY NOVEMBER 14 Advance Task Force HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMNZS WELLINGTON head south from Auckland, around 11pm.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 15 Four Air Force NH90 helicopters land in Kaikoura. They pick up 200 evacuees and deliver 1.3 tonnes of water, 300kg of food and jerrycans of diesel. Overseas ships HMAS DARWIN, HMCS VANCOUVER and USS SAMPSON, along with HMNZS TE KAHA, are diverted from the International Naval Review in Auckland to head south.

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 16 HMNZS WELLINGTON at Kaikoura. The embarked Littoral Warfare Unit carry out surveys of northern and southern sections of the peninsula. CANTERBURY arrives at Kaikoura and begins evacuations with assistance from WELINGTON’s boats, taking aboard 450 evacuees, 7 tonnes of baggage and four dogs for transport to Lyttelton. 3 Squadron helicopters rescue 165 people and deliver 5000kg of aid. An Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft airdrops about 5000 litres of water to Kaikoura residents.

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 17 CANTERBURY returns to Kaikoura to continue evacuations.



DARWIN, SAMPSON, VANCOUVER and TE KAHA arrive at Kaikoura. 3 Squadron helicopters evacuate another 60 residents and deliver two tonnes of supplies. Army convoy due to depart Burnham for inland route but halted due to renewed risk of slips.

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18 ENDEAVOUR arrives to restock Navy ships with fuel and supplies, plus contribute to relief works in Kaikoura. 27 NZ Army trucks make it to Kaikoura with fuel supplies, with 22 remaining to help shift supplies from CANTERBURY. A further 160 people are evacuated using NH90s and CANTERBURY.

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19 Kaikoura marae holds a powhiri for rescuers from all services. CANTERBURY evacuates 192 people together with 2.3 tonnes of baggage, one cat, 14 dogs and about 30,000 bees. Overseas helicopters transport 216 tonnes of aid from CANTERBURY to Kaikoura. TE KAHA departs Kaikoura with VANCOUVER, DARWIN and SAMPSON.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20 Having established Kaikoura as a “hub”, NZDF now able to investigate rural and isolated communities using A109 helicopters.



here’s an enduring image becoming immortalised on social media, of HMNZS WELLINGTON’s commanding officer helping a Kaikoura tourist onto one of his RHIBs.

“I’ve had a few hugs and kisses from old ladies,” Lieutenant Commander Matt Kaio told Navy Today on being the first Navy ship to arrive in Kaikoura after the 7.8 earthquake at 1202am on 14 November. WELLINGTON was in Auckland when the call came through from Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand: you’re going to Kaikoura with HMNZS CANTERBURY. You’re the best suited. “We had an hour at anchor, recalled the Ship’s Company – about a dozen were on leave. We told them, we’re sailing, be back here by 2100.” WELLINGTON also took on board a team from the Littoral Warfare Unit to survey the sea floor around the Kaikoura peninsula. After a transfer of RHIBs between CANTERBURY and WELLINGTON near Auckland, they “dropped hammer”, said LTCDR Kaio. CANTERBURY’s CO, Commander Simon Rooke, and LTCDR Kaio were about to live up to the “best suited” description. Despite operating on limited information, the WELLINGTON / CANTERBURY combination had proven itself during humanitarian relief operations in Fiji after Cyclone Winston this year, which in turn was grounded from experience from Cyclone Pam last year. “Simon and I have worked together a long time, he was my CO on OTAGO.” WELLINGTON arrived in Kaikoura at sunrise on Wednesday, two hours ahead of CANTERBURY. “We had to do a lot of work very quickly,” he said. Surveying came first to prepare for CANTERBURY’s landing craft, while WELLINGTON kept a 20-metre depth under its keel. The whale watch boats had been tasked to help, but they were grounded owing to the sea level rise. “We were basically opening the door for CANTERBURY, save them time. It meant they could just roll up. Then we got the guys in the boats, and started ferrying people.” WELLINGTON moved to the other side of the Kaikoura peninsula, carrying out seabed surveys there. “It was a long day – 0430 to 2030 – and we smashed it out in a day. We were going off experience, with minimal information, and it was done.” Having a worked-up crew, and being the second HADR for WELLINGTON this year, made the difference, he said. The tourists were very tired but excited to be rescued by the Navy. “They were pretty thankful.” After staying overnight at anchor, WELLINGTON was detached on Thursday morning, arriving back in Auckland on Saturday. They had enough time to don their tunics and man the rails for their salute to the Governor General. And, in what sums up the busy life of an OPV, they departed on Monday for Operation CASTLE.

Above: HMNZS WELLINGTON against the backdrop of the Kaikoura ranges. Top right: Lieutenant Commander Matt Kaio, as bowman on a RHIB, helps a tourist aboard.

NEW WEATHER SENSORS PROVIDE VITAL INFORMATION New meteorological sensors developed by the Defence Technology Agency and only just installed on HMNZS WELLINGTON were a key element in managing the safety and efficiency of the evacuation. Accurate forecasting of weather conditions for helicopter and small boat operations is essential for a rapid and safe evacuation. However, loss of communication Weather image showing WELLINGTON with MetService’s automatic weather station at Kaikoura because of the earthquake meant vital local observations were not available to help inform all-important aviation weather forecasts. A quick link-up between the NZDF and MetService led to HMNZS WELLINGTON stepping in and providing observations directly to forecasters from a newly-installed weather station on the ship. Navy meteorologist Lieutenant Commander Bronwyn Heslop said weather observations from Navy ships are usually reported only on NZDF networks but were sent by email to MetService every hour. “When we specified the system we never thought about forecasting for disaster relief. But as the system is the standard for MetService, our data meets the standard for inclusion in their system,” she said. “It has worked perfectly, and it’s been fantastic to see the NZDF and MetService work together so smoothly to support our sailors and airmen. It is great timing that we have just installed the system on WELLINGTON.” The new weather station was installed in the last week of October, and is a trial to determine if the system will eventually be installed on all Navy ships. The sensors installed are capable of operating from the equator to the poles, with a specific focus on supporting aviation tasks including the currently-deployed Remotely Piloted Aerial System. “These new sensors are the next step to improve safety at sea as well as operational efficiency, especially in complex situations like the amphibious operations during the evacuations,” LTCDR Heslop said.



HMNZS CANTERBURY: THE BIG EVACUATION There’s a “standard plan” in place for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief operations, said Commander Simon Rooke to TVNZ, shortly after he had dropped off the first shipload of 450 Kaikoura residents and tourists to Lyttelton.


ANTERBURY was tasked to Kaikoura on Monday 14 November, leaving Auckland late at night with HMNZS WELLINGTON. Putting together the experiences gained from Cyclones Pam and Winston, and modified for Kaikoura, “everything came together”, said CDR Rooke. With WELLINGTON and the Littoral Warfare Unit having done surveys of the seabed, the way was clear for CANTERBURY to use her Landing Craft. In total CANTERBURY rescued 640 residents and tourists, included 450 on the first day, along with 9.3 tonnes of baggage. He said it was “interesting” having 450 evacuees on board, and less than ideal in terms of accommodation and places to sleep, but it only took five hours to get them to Lyttelton. The ship was then stocked with supplies to deliver to Kaikoura. “When people were leaving the ship they were all really, really positive and thankful and happy. They’ve been through a lot, and just to be able to get them on board, give them some food, give them a bit of reassurance, and then get them to where they need to be, a place of safety, everyone seemed to be thrilled,” he told TVNZ Breakfast reporter Brodie Kane.

BY THE NUMBERS: 640 residents and tourists rescued 450 rescued on the first day 1000 meals cooked on first day 9.3 tonnes of baggage 1 cat 17 dogs 30,000 bees

CANTERBURY’s 13 chefs cooked over 1000 meals during the trip.

NZDF video of first CANTERBURY evacuation viewed 160,000 times on social media

“We are a customer ship, we provide service for people, no matter who it is. They are on board our ship, they are guests in our home, so we want to make people feel really welcome.”


It was not an option to stay in Auckland for the Naval Review, he said.

13,000kg of food

“At a time of need, the Navy should be able to provide the resources and support to the country, and we’ve done that with the Air force and the Army.”

200kg of potatoes

Among the more interesting items brought on board were 30,000 bees. “Many people took what they could fit into a suitcase or two and this would be the things closest to their hearts. One of the evacuees just could not leave his bees behind. I smiled when I read the cargo manifest just before we sailed. It is the type of entry you’d probably see if they did an inventory of what went into Noah’s Ark.” He said he was proud of his crew. “They are an amazing bunch of people. Every day, they just go and do their work and they make me very proud to be the CO of the ship. Hopefully they make New Zealanders proud of their Navy.”



2780kg of fruits and vegetables 350kg of bread 6000kg of rice, pasta and flour 300kg of blankets 500kg of telecommunications equipment Four tonnes of medical supplies 10,000kg of pet food 80 portable toilets 500kg of toilet paper 30 10-litre cans of fuel Two portable pumps and four generators

HMCS VANCOUVER’s Sea King helicopter hovers over HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.



hen disaster strikes, everyone gets on the ground as fast as they can, trusting someone is coming to sustain them. In the Navy’s case, that sustainer is HMNZS ENDEAVOUR. The Royal New Zealand Navy’s fleet tanker ENDEAVOUR arrived in Kaikoura on Friday 18 November, joining the naval task force engaged in earthquake recovery operations. She was the seventh Navy ship to arrive at Kaikoura. On the way down, ENDEAVOUR called into Wellington to take on 30 pallets of stores from four trucks, with the help of New Zealand army personnel. The stores,

and the fuel she carried, was used to restock the task force of HMNZS TE KAHA, HMAS DARWIN, USS SAMPSON and HMCS VANCOUVER. ENDEAVOUR’s executive officer Lieutenant Commander David Barr said they got word they’d be heading to Kaikoura on Tuesday. ENDEAVOUR had already refuelled a number of the visiting ships before the call went out. “The next day, we were east of East Cape when we refuelled TE KAHA, and shortly after that, she got the other ships to increase speed to reduce the time to get to Kaikoura.” He said in normal circumstances, ENDEAVOUR would have topped up the visiting ships with fuel and rations at the International Naval Review. “That’s the nature of responding to a disaster though - you make sure you have enough food and fuel to last the initial few days on station, and trust that someone will come and sustain you.” Facing 60 knot winds and a huge swell, ENDEAVOUR was only able to make 4 knots on her way to Kaikoura. Their first tasks were to get USS SAMPSON and HMCS VANCOUVER resupplied, using a Canadian working party and vertical lifting by helicopter. In a day, ENDEAVOUR restocked all four ships, then was able to release 12 sailors for relief work on shore. LTCDR Barr said ENDEAVOUR is always at 30 minutes notice to replenish fuel, or to HIFR (Helicopter In-Flight Refuelling). “Essentially the helicopter will fly alongside the ship, we will pass them a hose, and they will refuel from us while in the air – think a Formula One Pit stop but with rotor blades and aviator’s glasses.” ENDEAVOUR remained in the area as the RNZN’s replenishment unit, until the international task force dispersed. The Commanding Officer, Martin Doolan, said they might have missed some of the social events of the International Naval Review, but as far as they were concerned, “we were the party. How great it was, to rock up to ship after ship from foreign nations, and fill them up with fuel. It didn’t matter which country, or where from. This was sailors throughout the world, ably demonstrating through real world operations, that we can do it, achieve significant results at the drop of a hat.” Clockwise from left: Ship’s Company of HMNZS ENDEAVOUR forming a store’s chain in Wellington to embark provisions. Helicopter Transfer Officer, Petty Officer Chef Alex Kinney, joins HMNZS ENDEAVOUR’s 12-person Shore Party to help in the recovery efforts in Kaikoura town. Sailors from HMCS VANCOUVER and Sergeant Akau’ola Laula from HMNZS CANTERBURY’s Ship’s Amphibious Load Team prepare the flight deck.





minor flotilla of New Zealand and international warships meant a lot of flexibility in providing relief for Kaikoura and North Canterbury in the days following the 7.8 earthquake.

Destroyer USS SAMPSON and frigates HMNZS TE KAHA, HMCS VANCOUVER and HMAS DARWIN broke off from exercises near Auckland to follow HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMNZS WELLINGTON to Kaikoura, while HMNZS ENDEAVOUR restocked. Helicopters capable of airlifting supplies and evacuating residents were going to be the key resource, with the international ships adding another four helicopters to the pool. The Commanding Officer of USS SAMPSON, Commander Tim LaBenz, said they had come to offer any kind of support they could. “We received the first signal that our assistance may be necessary. We immediately made our way south as part of the Task Group. We have helicopters and onboard expertise to assist in a multitude of areas. We’re proud to be part of a broader effort to bring some relief and help those affected by this tragedy.” International help came from the skies with the US Navy and Japan deploying their maritime patrol craft to view the extent of the damage to the roading infrastructure. Lieutenant Ariel Baltis, captain of a US Navy P-3C Orion, said it was an honour to help “and get involved in real-world operations to help the people”. Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, welcomed the resources placed on offer. “The ships, crews and maritime helicopters provided by our partner militaries have given us a great deal of flexibility in supporting the national relief effort.”

Above: HMNZS TE KAHA leads Kaikoura’s international task force into Wellington Harbour. In order: HMCS VANCOUVER, HMAS DARWIN, HMNZS ENDEAVOUR, USS SAMPSON. 1. Captain of USS SAMPSON, Commander Tim LaBenz, beside HMNZS TE KAHA’s commanding officer Commander Steve Lenik, talks to army personnel at Kaikoura. 2. A US Navy Petty Officer with supplies for a Kaikoura resident. 3. Lieutenant Ariel Baltis, captain of a US Navy P-3C Orion. 4. One of USS SAMPSON’s MH60 Seahawk helicopters touches down in Kaikoura. 5. A Canadian CH-124 Sea King hovers over HMCS VANCOUVER 6. A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Kawasaki P-1 patrol craft, used to provide reconnaissance over North Canterbury.









MAHI TANGAROA: A COMMON ENEMY A common enemy is a good way to unite 11 countries.


xercise Mahi Tangaroa over four days in the Hauraki Gulf brought together ships and personnel from ADMM-plus nations New Zealand, Australia, America, Canada, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and China, in a hunt for opportunistic drug smugglers intent on making shore. It was also an exercise in adaptability, as the exercise’s command post, HMNZS CANTERBURY, was pulled partway through for Kaikoura duties. It meant the top floor of the officers’ wardroom at HMNZS PHILOMEL was swiftly re-wired to see out the exercise.

Above: From left, Commander Jason Ward, US Navy; Lieutenant Commander Azrin Mahmud, Brunei; Senior Lieutenant Le Thanh Binh, Vietnam; Lieutenant junior grade Saput Puangragsa, Thailand; Lieutenant Nabil Jalil, Brunei.

Exercise controller Lieutenant Commander Rob McCaw says if you start talking about drugs, piracy, arms-dealing, people smuggling, everyone gets on board. “It’s a scenario that writes itself – we just turn the volume up. We didn’t want an exercise where people were facing off against each other, of that uneasy situation of the “blue” force and the “orange” force. But with this, when you start talking, everyone in the room starts nodding. They all get it.”

Captain Dave McEwan, commanding the task group, said the final free-play phase of the exercise involved a series of six vessels – “the bad guys” – doing their best to evade the combined navies.

“These have been a wonderful bunch of guys,” says CAPT McEwan, who had a Brunei officer as exercise director and a US Navy commander as his chief of staff. “There’s no classification barriers. We would deploy with these guys anywhere. Adaptive, good sense of humour, keen to learn.”

With only hours to go to close of exercise, CAPT McEwan knows there are still two targets unaccounted for.

The exercise was challenging, with rough weather making boardings difficult.

“Right now, DARWIN is looking to intercept a couple of vessels of interest” he says. “OTAGO boarded someone this morning, and the Japanese and Americans are watching the flanks. We’ve got three of the five vessels, we’ve had a P-3, helicopters, but the weather is cutting up quite rough.” In addition, the Hauraki Gulf has plenty of innocent boats. “How do we determine who is the bad guy?”

“We fight through rough seas,” says CAPT McEwan. “We go to the southern ocean and fight big seas and icebergs. Why not show them our world? New Zealand is a challenging domain. To make us safe, we have to be good out there. We don’t give up just because it starts raining.”

Intelligence data, plus talent and a lot of humour won the day for the “good guys”, who managed to nab the last two boats before close of play.

And a sense of humour helped. “You can’t help but laugh, when you get kicked off your ship [CANTERBURY].”


THE FLEET ARRIVES Seven ships is a lot to lose from a formal fleet entry, but spectators in Auckland still managed to get an impressive view.


he Kaikoura earthquake crisis had split the International Naval Review’s fleet lineup, with international ships HMCS VANCOUVER, HMAS DARWIN and USS SAMPSON joining forces with four New Zealand ships heading to the South Island. It still meant 17 ships were on show for the Navy’s 75th anniversary as they entered Auckland harbour, a day earlier than planned owing to anticipated bad weather.

The fleet arrival began at 6am with Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS OTAGO leading in RSS RESOLUTION (Singapore), INS SUMITRA (India) and KRI BANDA ACEH (Indonesia). Tall ships SPIRIT OF NEW ZEALAND and Chile’s BACH ESMERALDA followed, then Australian submarine HMAS DECHAINEUX.


Below: The 16th Field Artillery fire a salute to TE MANA from North Head.



Above: HMNZS TE MANA ahead of JS TAKANAMI (left) and CNS YANCHENG in Auckland harbour.

Above: Chinese frigate CNS YANCHENG.

Above: Australian submarine HMAS DECHAINEUX.

“We’re really excited to have them – and what a variety of ships, from all over the world.” – Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin

TE MANA sailors prepare to fire the small cannon in salute to the fleet’s arrival.

Diving tender HMNZS MANAWANUI led the Pacific Patrol Boats SPB NAFANUA (Samoa), VOEA PANGAI (Tonga) and TE KUPUPA (Cook Islands), with Inshore Patrol Vessels HMNZS TAUPO and HMNZS HAWEA. The fourth division was the showpiece. At North Head, the 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery, fired a salute to HMNZS TE MANA, leading CNS YANCHENG (China), JS TAKANAMI (Japan) and ROKS CHUNGBUK (South Korea). The Ships’ Companies manned the rails, but in a precursor of things to come, the Indonesian ship’s band played continuously as they entered Auckland harbour. North Head spectator Wyn Mitchell, who served aboard a previous HMNZS OTAGO in the seventies, said he came over from Australia to see the ships and was “disappointed” in the smaller turnout. “But

what can you do? Earthquakes are more important. It’s fabulous, so many different countries, just dropping everything to help.” Troy, 9, and Cory Billot, 6, had a personal connection to the fleet entry, with their father CPOMT(L) Jamie Billot on board TE MANA. The pair held up a welcome sign, while their mother, Mandy Hoskings, displayed a banner on the North Head slopes, giving thanks to the Navy for their support to Kaikoura. Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin was interviewed by international media on North Head, including a Japanese reporter. “We’re really excited to have them – and what a variety of ships, from all over the world.” He said the ships that had gone to Kaikoura were ones with deployable helicopters, which would work best for the crisis. “If the situation changes and we need to send ships, we have more ships up here.”



A CHALLENGE TO NATIONS Chief Petty Officer Diver Rangi Ehu admitted to some nerves in carrying out the challenge (weru) for the haka powhiri for representatives and media from over 20 countries at The Cloud on 17 November.


he purpose of a weru, after all, is a challenge, and at the back of CPODI Ehu’s mind was the idea of protesters taking them up on it. “Someone might retaliate, challenge us, rush us, have a go.” Instead, Britain’s First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Phillip Jones, quietly followed the drill, picking up the offering and slowly walking forward as Ehu and his party stepped back into The Cloud. Ehu had other reasons for nerves, considering he was a last-minute replacement to carry out the challenge after the original man left on the CANTERBURY for Kaikoura. “I found out the same day I was doing it, so I had to learn on the fly.” Adding to that has been a busy year for CPODI Ehu as a diver on MANAWANUI, with scarce time to practise. He says it was the largest haka powhiri he had been involved in and it was a “humbling” experience. The event was live-streamed, and mates from all around the world have seen it. “It’s touched friends of friends of friends, a positive ripple effect throughout the world. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I’ve had nothing but positive feedback.” He would like to be posted to the Navy marae next year, “so I can chase my dream with my Tikanga”.

Top of page: First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Phillip Jones, the Chief of Naval Staff for the United Kingdom, picks up the token placed by CPODI Rangi Ehu.

Middle: ACSS Te Rau Baker is part of the haka powhiri for visitors to the International Naval Review, hosted at The Cloud in Auckland. Above: HMNZS TE MANA crewmembers join in with the Maori Culture Group.





hief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin told the audience the Navy was “standing on two feet”, with one foot in Auckland and the other in Kaikoura. “We have ships from visiting nations helping New Zealand with Kaikoura. I thank you for the support and offers of support.” He said it demonstrated the flexibility of the Navy, to be in a number of places at once. He said they had met each other before, as friends, colleagues and partners, but usually in overseas contexts. “To all those who have been here before, sailed here, flown here. You know it takes serious commitment to be here, to come and visit across the largest ocean in the world. We all share a common bond, a close bond with the sea. This powhiri today reflects that bond. It’s the coming together of our diverse cultures. This is a reflection of the depth of welcome to our visitors.” ADM Jones agreed with RADM Martin. “This is what navies do best. I think it couldn’t be a better symbol of the significance of what navies do, and what close friends you have, that you are both here and in Kaikoura.” He thanked RADM Martin for the privilege of speaking on behalf of the visiting ships. He speculated that was either because he had come the farthest, was the most senior, or simply had the “audacity” to come without a ship. “The link between the RN and the Royal New Zealand Navy is a very deep and a very long-lasting one. Out of the RN the RNZN emerged in 1941, and it’s that which we’re celebrating today.” He said he last visited two years ago, with the Commonwealth Navies Rugby Cup and a rugby team. The cup now resides in New Zealand. “Thank you for welcoming your friends from the regions and around the world so warmly. May the rule of law, at sea and from the sea, that you work so hard to protect, be reinforced by what you see and all you do today.”



round 20 partners of ship’s commanding officers and VIPs had their own powhiri at Te Taua Moana Marae on 18 November – with some instructional poi thrown in. The Maori Culture Group, fresh from the previous day’s haka powhiri at The Cloud, formally greeted the women with a performance, karanga, speeches and hongi. Marae manager A/CPO Andre Taikato welcomed the women to the marae, describing it as an educational visit, with possible similarities to their own cultures. Mrs Cassandra Aucoin, from the United States, said the experience was very enlightening. “Very educational. Their singing is beautiful.” Mrs Bimla Bisht, from India, said she loved the greenness around the marae, and the mangroves. “First time to New Zealand. I’m very impressed with the dance. This is a very good experience for me.” Captain Corina Bruce, who was escorting the partners, said she hoped “these ladies take a special piece of our navy and our family home with them”.

Above: During the Partners Powhiri at Te Taua Moana marae in Devonport, ACWS Ohinemataroa Iti teaches poi technique to Mrs Cassandra Aucoin, United States.



isible in his pride and tikanga was Recruit Zion Hoani, from the BCT 16/02 intake. Hoani, Nga Puhi, says the haka powhiri was “pretty exhilarating. It’s part of my culture, it meant something to me. There’s only a few Maori in this intake.” He says it was good to be part of the International Naval Review, and demonstrate what his intake had learnt over 15 weeks. “This is a special time for the Navy.” Asked how his 15 weeks had gone, he said there had been ups and downs, but it was really good having “heaps of mates” and watching everyone develop. Left: BCT 16/02 recruit Zion Hoani revels in the haka challenge.








06 1. FLTLT Taylor Berriman with CPOHLM Dougie Greig prepare to head out from HMNZS CANTERBURY off the coast of Kaikoura. 2. Sailor of the Year Alexis Gray with Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy aboard HMNZS OTAGO. 3. HMNZS ENDEAVOUR Petty Officer Chef Alex Kinney helping to stock the ship with Lance Corporal Martyn Britt-Foy. 4. Language is no barrier when it comes to the junior rates enjoying a group photo at Devonport Naval Base. 5. OHSO Josephine Sharp with her mother Marianne Schreven. 6. All the fun and games at the International Naval Review Tabloid Sports Competition at Ngataringa sports field. 7. Recruits from the BCT 16/02 intake, from left, Liam O’Reilly, Peter Pusey, Alister Plaisted and Rainer Claussen. 8. Sailors from HMNZS TE MANA react








12 to the camera before the Haka Powhiri. 9. The team from the Maori Culture Group and other sailors who performed for the haka powhiri. 10. OMT Bailey Neicho joins in the hymn singing during the Divine Service at Auckland Holy Trinity Cathedral. 11. Young sailors pose for the camera at Auckland wharves beside The Cloud. 12. The New Zealand Defence Force helping evacuate travellers and locals from Kaikoura following a magnitude 7.8 Earthquake. POWTR Jo Stewart looking after Soul while his owner Deanna Campbell was signing onto HMNZS CANTERBURY.




Above: LTCDR Andrew Sorensen, CO of HMNZS OTAGO, receives the Governor General’s crest from Dame Patsy Reddy.

“Remember, it’s the small things that count. You will make sure your photo is a good one. And remember, it’s ‘Your Excellency’”.

Above: Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy inspects her guard of honour at Auckland wharves.


n the build-up to the arrival of the Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy, the guard of honour – recruits and sailors from the BBT, BCT and JOCT intakes – receive their white gloves and head outside The Cloud for the last rehearsals. The day, 19 November, is the formal showpiece of the International Naval Review, the actual review of the fleet itself by the Queen’s Representative. The honour of being the review ship fell to HMZNS OTAGO, with Lieutenant Commander Andrew Sorensen welcoming Dame Patsy on board after she had inspected her guard of honour. Some of the visiting countries most senior naval ranks and government officials were on board, while in the harbour, nine ships of the 75th anniversary had formed an anchored line.


Left: Dame Patsy and husband David Gasgoigne wave to the ships as they pass.

Following a buffet lunch OTAGO got underway and proceeded east, with an entourage of nine spectator boats following. Most ships opted for “three cheers”, with sailor rotating their caps and raising them high. The Chinese went for a salute, while the Singapore crew on RESOLUTION simply stood at attention. Dame Patsy stood on the bridge wing, waving to the sailors. Circling back, OTAGO had a tricky moment, after acknowledging JS TAKANAMI, in working her way across to her sister ship WELLINGTON tied up at Devonport. The ship had only just returned from Kaikoura. A line of sailors from Australian submarine HMAS DECHAINEUX stood along the wharf to give cheers. Fighting the tide and wind, OTAGO got back on line to the Indonesian ship KRI BANDA ACEH, who, in a manner matching their exuberance throughout the week, gave lots of cheers, with hats on chests then raised to the sky. TE MANA was the last ship at anchor, but by no means the last to be acknowledged. The crew of HMNZS MANAWANUI, not to be left out, had prepared a sign at Auckland wharves. And once docked, the last ships paraded past OTAGO – HMNZS TAUPO, VOEA PANGAI (Tonga), NAFANUA (Samoa) and TE KUKUPA (Cook Islands). In total, 16 ships reviewed from 12 countries. Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin presented Dame Patsy with a Flag Officer’s sword, especially engraved, in the hope she might use it to knight someone one day. Dame Patsy said she was delighted to be conducting the review, and noted that a number of ships were in Kaikoura. “So many of our friends and allies have come to this review and immediately offered to go to their aid. It’s made me realise more than ever the importance of the Navy.” She said it was a day to remember and the gift of the sword “capped off a wonderful day. I will certainly use it”. LTCDR Sorensen said the ship had worked hard to prepare for this, with navigation planning, the food and plenty of fresh paint. “That was a fairly difficult manoeuver back there [to salute WELLINGTON] with 2.5 knots of tide and wind.” But that was the beauty of OPVs, he said. They were very good at “difficult”. Above: Rear Admiral John Martin, Chief of Navy, presents a flag officer’s sword to Dame Patsy. Below: OTAGO breaks from JS TAKANAMI to head to Devonport wharves for WELLINGTON’s salute.



Above: Mark Johnson, Toni Johnson and Anaru Johnson, 10, in front of a picture of Toni’s mother, Leigh Johnson.

Above: Gao Rui, China, with Killian, 3, enjoy The Cloud’s Navy 75th exhibition. Below: John and Barbara Broad, Auckland. Mr Broad did Compulsory Military Training in the fifties and said a lot of the history was familiar ground for him.



he Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary exhibition in The Cloud provided an ongoing centrepiece against the backdrop of naval ships and events on Auckland’s waterfront. The exhibition drew over 10,000 visitors during its four-day display, with the added bonus of haka powhiri and guard of honour rehearsals offering plenty of camera moments. Toni Johnson paid tribute to her family’s service as she posed beside one of The Cloud’s exhibit photos, which featured her mother. “She was in the 1980 intake, a chef in the navy. She did five years.” Her mother never went to sea. “She was a couple of years too early.” Her son, Anaru, was armed with promotional careers brochures and wanted to join the services. “I want to learn to fly, drive, travel.” But there was a particular corner of the exhibition that drew some special pride. Margaret Mitchell, a former officers’ steward in 1964 to 1968, and former writer Jill Thompson (1967-70, 1988-2000), were spotted near the Wrens’ exhibit. The pair had picked some stick-on Navy tattoos and were feeling a bit naughty, considering it was an absolute no-no for female ratings to have tattoos back then. “Men were,” said Mrs Thompson, “as long

Below: Former Officers’ Steward Margaret Mitchell (left) and former Writer Jill Thompson.

“They are doing what they are meant to do. Getting together, helping people.” as they didn’t get infected, otherwise it was a self-inflicted injury. I didn’t know any women that had a tattoo in those days.” Mrs Mitchell said the camaraderie in the Navy, and among the women, “lasts a lifetime, through thick and thin. We all had to live in Elizabeth House together. I’m still friends with many today, after 50 years”. She says they worked in a man’s world, but it wasn’t so bad. “When they started going to sea, it was a little bit worse.” Nonetheless, one of her biggest regrets was not going to sea. “You didn’t have that choice.” Former wrens Jan Maw and Jill Philip, from Christchurch, lamented that “the most important ship was not here”. In the 1960s, if the Americans came to town, there were dances. “It was their uniforms, presented beautifully,” said Ms Maw. “They were just… Americans. America was where it was all happening in the sixties. The Vietnam War, and the music.” But she understood the need for the Navy in Kaikoura. “They are doing what they are meant to do. Getting together, helping people.”


NAVY THEMES A WINNER Right: Samuel Marsden Collegiate School pupil Neakiry Kivi with Rear Admiral John Martin and Marsden’s director of music Marian Campbell.

The Navy’s themes of courage, commitment and comradeship were showcased in the prize-winning work of two students from Auckland and Wellington.


amuel Marsden Collegiate School pupil Neakiry Kivi won $6000 for herself and her school after her choral piece was judged first in the Year 12/13 category in Operation Neptune’s Secondary School Creative Competition, announced on 20 November in Auckland. The competition was run as part of the Navy’s 75th anniversary celebrations this year. Neakiry’s project was an unaccompanied choral composition called “He Heremana Ahau” with background narration by Neakiry. Ysabel Pomare, from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o te Raki Paewhenua in Auckland, won the Year 10/11 category, taking away $3000 for her school and an Apple MacBook Air, for her Waiata – “Te Whanau Kotahi O Te Taua Moana”. The Waiata portrays a historical perspective of the RNZN. The seven finalists in two categories, Year 10/11 and Year 12/13, had to prepare a creative project based on the Navy’s themes of courage, commitment and comradeship, while also telling the Navy’s story, background and mission. There were two runners-up in both categories, who also won prizes. Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin presented Neakiry with $3000 towards her tertiary studies and $3000 for her school at the Navy’s 75th anniversary exhibition in The Cloud in Auckland. He said the four “very exceptional” winners honoured the Navy with their talent and energy, and the Navy in turn was honoured to display their work in The Cloud. “I think there’s some prospects for recruitment here,” he said. In her submission, Neakiry said she wanted to highlight how the ocean, rough, unpredictable and dangerous, intertwined with the Navy, dependable, steady and determined. “Though you can’t always trust the ocean, you can believe in the Navy.” She included elements of a sea shanty, a narration “when the music is calm and still”, Maori phrases and illustrative music, with changing volumes and melodies.

Above: Ysabel Pomare, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o te Raki Paewhenua, stands in front of a widescreen image of herself performing her waiata.

Neakiry said it was amazing to watch her four-minute choral piece come to life, with real people. “When you do the composition, you play it back on the computer, but when you have actual girls singing it, I got really excited.” The seven finalists had a trip to Devonport Naval Base during the year to help them with inspiration. “I’m really honoured and grateful, it was such an amazing experience. The Navy have supported me, given me new knowledge and skills. I’ve learnt more about the Navy, their history, their values. It’s given me the opportunity to create the music that I want, and push the limits of my abilities.” Ysabel said she wanted to show her appreciation of the Navy in her waiata and “how they work hard for all of us, and what they have done over the past 75 years. I had heard the Navy ships went down to Kaikoura to help people in need, and that’s awesome”. Following a haka from her supporters, she performed her waiata for the audience. The runners up were Martin Greshoff, Takapuna Grammar (Y12/13) for his composition – “Voyage Suite”, a classical piece of music for the RNZN Concert Band, comprising of three distinct but continuous movements; and Denby Gallagher, Campion College in Gisborne (Y10/11) for her colourful painting on wood in the shape of an Anchor, encompassing the RNZN’s core values and the key themes: “our roots, our history, our mission”.



A BIG DAY OUT The enthusiasm for ships, sailors and merchandise was spectacularly apparent as over


came to the Ships’ Open Day on 20 November at Auckland wharves.

10X ships opened to the public.


he most popular ship was reportedly the Chinese frigate YANCHENG with over 10,000 visitors, many from the New Zealand Chinese community keen for a look around. YANCHENG opted for a single deck visit, with two gangplanks for entry and exit. With long queues to vessels such as the KRI BANDA ACEH, the cheerful Indonesian ship’s band kept the crowds entertained with rousing music, marches and fanciful mascot-like costumes, including shark outfits. Training ship BACH ESMERALDA opted not to open that day, but provided several open sessions on other days.

From top of page: The entrance to The Cloud, showcasing the Navy’s 75th anniversary. South Korean sailors pose for the camera. The Royal Marines Band Service at The Cloud.



Above: Lots of interest in South Korean ship ROKS CHUNGBUK. Below: ACH Lissa Whittingham is flat out passing out flags and stickers to queues waiting to board navy ships.

“It was a totally amazing experience to go aboard and speak to the sailors, fantastic experience for my children. My 11-year-old now wants to sign up.” – Fi Gillespie

“Kids had an absolute blast! Thank you to everyone involved, we thoroughly enjoyed it.” – Tara McGowan.

From top right: The enthusiastic band from Indonesian ship KRI BANDA ACEH keep the queues happy. Visitors enjoy what The Cloud has on display.

“Very special opportunity to look through these boats. Thank you.” – Jocelyn Turner

The queues build for Japanese destroyer JS TAKANAMI.





he cooperation among Naval friends in times of strife was a major theme for the 75th Anniversary Divine Service at Auckland Holy Trinity Cathedral on Sunday 20 November.

The service drew around 500 attendees, including Minister of Defence Gerry Brownlee, naval personnel from visiting nations, veterans and interested members of the public. Recruits from the Junior Officers Common Training and Basic Common Training intakes formed two ranks at the entrance for guests.

Shirley Murphy and Colleen Appleton were both nieces of sailors who died when HMS NEPTUNE was lost in a minefield in WWII. They showed their relatives’ medals to Navy Today after the service, and their New Zealand Memorial Crosses, given to next of kin who had lost a relative. “As a result of that loss, I have no uncles and aunts and cousins,” said Mrs Murphy. “For our family it was a huge influence.”

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin said the exercises between the Navies of the Pacific and beyond, and the operations in Kaikoura, has given the RNZN the confidence in knowing they can respond. “Leveraging off the common bond we have – the sea.” “It should be no surprise we have a Navy,” he continued. “We sit at the bottom of the Pacific. The sea around us, it is so beautiful, it needs protection, as does the international system that protects our trade routes.” RADM Martin said the Navy transforms to meet demands, training young New Zealanders to be great New Zealanders. “Electricians, marine engineers, commercial pilots, divers.” First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Phillip Jones remarked that the Royal Navy “was of course the parent” of the RNZN, “or, as the Rear Admiral described to me, the midwife. It was the dark days of WWII when that Navy began. It’s moved on a long way from there, and the link has stayed strong throughout – as two island nations, committed in peace, security and the rule of law.” He said the presence of so many nations in Auckland should give everyone cause for optimism. “The bonds of friendship celebrated this week will grow and strengthen in the years ahead.” Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said the flexibility of the Navy had been proven time and again. “Back in the earthquake of 1931, the earthquake of 2011, and now in Kaikoura, with our friends, to support people who are suffering in the South Island. We are proud of our Navy and proud of those who continue to serve and uphold this proud tradition.”



From top of page: The colour party stands to collect the White Ensign. Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee speaks at the Divine Service. Shirley Murphy (left) and Colleen Appleton, Auckland, attended to honour their uncles who lost their lives on HMS NEPTUNE.



ome of our fittest recruits found a yoga experience on board Indian OPV INS SUMITRA humbling.

SUMITRA was offering dawn “Yoga across the oceans” sessions on their flight deck for Navy personnel during the International Naval Review, an offer JOCT instructor Lieutenant Brett Fitzgerald thought worth taking up. “Don’t move, don’t concentrate on anything else – just breathe,” said Lieutenant Commander Rajalingham Nagappan, SUMITRA’s executive officer to the 17 junior officers. “Take a deep breath, breathe out 100 times, don’t bend your back.” The hour-long session moved from breathing and stretches to more complex moves, including balancing on one leg. At one point some JOCTs were resting their knees between their ears. “Everybody is unique,” said LTCDR Nagappan. “Some can bend really well, some not. Stop competing with others. The competition is only with you.” At the conclusion he told his class after seven days the body gets used to yoga.

MID Thomas Dowling said it was extremely difficult. “It was basically trying to get my joints to work,” he said. “It was pretty humbling, really. I would say I’m fit, and I’m a surfer – I should be a lot more flexible. It was pretty impressive.” LT Fitzgerald said the JOCTs do early morning activities every day, to get the “blood pumping”. This was an excellent alternative. “Something more interesting.” Left: Midshipman Anton Hammond, JOCT 16/02, balances on one leg during a yoga session aboard Indian offshore patrol vessel INS SUMITRA.

YOUR CAUSE IS OUR CAUSE Kaikoura, but they would always be concerned with those in the region. “We hope this donation will help to encourage people there in the South Island.”

Japan cannot think about what happened in Kaikoura as “just an affair of other people”, owing to long experience with earthquakes. Those words, spoken by Lieutenant Commander Kotaro Natsume aboard destroyer JS TAKANAMI, were to prove ironic.

WON Bourke, who attended with Command Warrant Officer Peter Patton, received the donation from Command Master Chief Katsuhiko Ogura. In return he presented a taonga, a greenstone adze pendant, to CMC Ogura. He said the efforts towards the Kaikoura relief shows how navies, as “masters of our maritime domain” can adapt at short notice to natural disasters. “To everyone on board, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for supporting the residents of Kaikoura and the people of New Zealand, for offering a fine donation from your hearts.” The funds were donated to Red Cross New Zealand, who had been prominent in the Kaikoura crisis.


n a touching gesture, the crew of the TAKANAMI collected around $1500 as a donation for Kaikoura. The presentation was made to Warrant Officer of the Navy Steve Bourke on the flight deck of TAKANAMI on 22 November, in front of their Ship’s Company – about an hour short of the news an earthquake had triggered a tsumani warning in Japan. When the Kaikoura earthquake hit on 14 November, JS TAKANAMI had signalled to RNZN that “we are ready to go. Where you go, we go,” said LTCDR Natsume. “From the experiences we had in within the last 10 years in Japan, we cannot think about what happened in the area as just an affair of other people.” In the end, he said they were not able to go to

Top left: WON Steve Bourke accepts a donation towards Kaikoura relief from Command Master Chief Katsuhiko Ogura. Above: The company of JS TAKANAMI pose on the flight deck with WON Steve Bourke.




Continued from page 23...

MT(L) Shotaro, who joined the Navy in 2013, was aboard TAKANAMI for 10 days, rejoining TE MANA after the destroyer set sail. “It’s like going back to Japan,” he said. He came to New Zealand with his parents 10 years ago. “It’s nice to reconnect.” He said he wanted to be an engineer but was not sure of what trade. A NZDF recruitment advisor gave him some information about the Navy and things fitted into place. “This is what I want to do,” he said. “It’s good to join the Navy when you are not sure what you want to do. You can take extra time to think about what you want, and you get paid and have an experience.” He was due to rejoin his crewmates on TE MANA, but will miss his time aboard TAKANAMI. “It was hard berthing over here at first, but it ended up being really good.” His effort was noted by WON Bourke, who gifted him a WON challenge coin “for support of this ship – well deserved”. Left: Acting as interpreter for the gift exchange was Able Marine Technician Shotaro Hashimoto, RNZN and HMNZS TE MANA crewmember.



aara Tetava wanted the waka experience. He got it. The Cook Islands police commissioner came on the seven-day voyage to New Zealand aboard Pacific Patrol Boat TE KUKUPA, a highlight of his career, he said. A self-confessed non-seaman, he said he felt he should experience what his police officers endured on the high seas. “Seven days, very hard waters, mate,” he said. “I got to experience the whole range of seas and waters that my people go through. “It was a little bit dangerous, but we braved it. We made it.” Above: Cook Island Police Commissioner Maara Tetava aboard HMNZS OTAGO during the Naval Review.

He said he was very impressed with the way the 13-strong crew performed. “We were really honoured to be part of this. It’s a big ask. We did the usual things on the way, exercises, man overboard. We even turned the engine off, halfway between the Cook Islands and here. Just an exercise, but when you’re used to hearing the engine, just to have it shut down half way, it’s a bit frightening.” The journey had great meaning for him. “Our legends say, wakas came across the Pacific to be here. To be on the same ocean, heading towards Aotearoa, is really something. I came here on a waka with two engines. This rates as number one in my career.” Mr Tetava says he would fly home, owing to duties in New Zealand and a meeting to get to in Fiji. In effect, the Cook Islands closed the formal International Naval Review. Mr Tetava was on the flight deck of HMNZS OTAGO to watch TE KUKUPA salute the Governor General – the last ship to do so.



he largest ship in Singapore’s Navy still had an “interesting” sail into the different temperament of the Southern Ocean.

“Waters were a bit rougher than what we expected,” said Captain Jennie Quah, executive officer on RSS RESOLUTION. “But it’s part of a sailor’s experience, to experience what the sea is like, get their sea legs.” CAPT Quah has only been XO for a week, and has served for six years. “It’s always an experience to bring a ship into foreign ports. I’ve never been to New Zealand.” She took the time to look around Auckland, including going up Mt Eden. “This is a really beautiful country, lots of beautiful sights. Not like Singapore – mostly buildings. On the way down, we could see a lot of mountains on the horizon.” The crew includes around 20 who are doing compulsory military training – compulsory for men, that is. CMT is two years for men in Singapore. “It’s definitely an eye-opening experience for them as



Above: Captain Jennie Quah, executive officer of RSS RESOLUTION.

well. For the junior regulars. It’s good training for them. Events, receptions, different countries. They get to talk to other people.” She said she was very impressed with the International Naval Review. “We’re very honoured to be invited, to be able to interact and talk.”



ailors from Indian offshore patrol vessel INS SUMITRA paid tribute to a piece of their navy’s birthright at Devonport Naval Base on 21 November.

At the entrance to the base is one of the aft gun turrets from HMNZS ACHILLES, a famed Leander-class light cruiser who engaged pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE in the Battle of the River Plate. ACHILLES was given to the Royal Indian Navy in 1948 and was renamed DEHLI, serving for 30 years before being decommissioned and scraped in 1978. In tribute to the ACHILLES’ fame, the turret was donated to New Zealand and unveiled in May 1980 at the base. SUMITRA’s commanding officer, Commander Kizhakke Sreesan, wanted to acknowledge the ship with his crew but also reflect on how the ship’s impressive history had given birth to both the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Indian Navy. He handed over an INS DEHLI crest to Operation Neptune director Captain Andy Watts, who in turn gave CDR Sreesan a Maori treasure box and a framed chart showing the ships of the International Naval Review. “I consider this a celebration of the 75th anniversary of our close relationship,” said CDR Sreesan. “Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity.” He said another piece of the DEHLI, the main mast, serves as the quarterdeck through which cadets from the National Defence Academy of India pass out. CAPT Watts said the planning around the 75th year had made everyone look closely at the Navy’s history. “We could not allow a

Top of page: Sailors from INS SUMITRA pose with Captain Andy Watts and Commodore John Campbell in front of the turret of INS DEHLI. Above: Commander Kizhakke Sreesan passes CAPT Watts an INS DEHLI ship’s plaque.

visit by SUMITRA to happen without acknowledging the incredible gift of the turret from DEHLI, and how we appreciate the kindness and generosity of the Indian Government to make this to us.” CAPT Watts said there were only two men alive from the Battle of the River Plate. “The DEHLI visited Auckland in 1969, and the commanding officer took the ACHILLES veterans out to sea, for one last time. The kindness of the Indian Navy, is totally my experience of the Indian Navy. We express the hope that this will be one of many visits to come.”




Prime Minister John Key made a point of greeting each of the international captains in the Naval Task Force that returned to Devonport Naval Base on Tuesday 22 November.


oyal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS TE KAHA, as task force leader for the naval response to the Kaikoura earthquake, led USS SAMPSON, HMCS VANCOUVER, HMNZS ENDEAVOUR and HMAS DARWIN into Auckland. Their arrival came shortly after the departure of the other nations who had taken part in the Navy’s 75th anniversary celebrations. USS SAMPSON was first to berth at Devonport Naval Base, with the Royal New Zealand Navy Band playing for the occasion. In the company of SAMPSON’s Commanding Officer Commander Tim LaBenz, Mr Key was toured to the bridge and invited to speak to the ship’s company using the bridge address system. He thanked the crew for making history, as the first US warship to make port in New Zealand for over 30 years, but thanked them more for their efforts in Kaikoura. Clockwise from above: Mr Key speaks to the USS SAMPSON crew via the bridge address system. John Key meets Commander Clive Butler, Captain of HMCS VANCOUVER. Commander Steve Lenik, commanding officer of HMNZS TE KAHA, shakes hands with John Key. Below: From left, HMCS VANCOUVER, HMAS DARWIN, USS SAMPSON, HMNZS ENDEAVOUR and HMNZS TE KAHA return from Kaikoura.


“The work that you did, bringing ashore all sorts of necessary items, along with your use of your helicopters, was much appreciated, and a great reassurance to the people of Kaikoura.” He said he had recently met with President Obama overseas and was sure the President would want to thank SAMPSON’s crew for their good work and commitment to duty. Mr Key also met HMAS DARWIN’s commanding officer, Commander Phillip Henry, TE KAHA’s Commander Steve Lenik and HMCS VANCOUVER’s Commander Clive Butler. From the deck of his ship CDR Henry, being a New Zealander, assured the Prime Minister he remained an All Black supporter.

The Royal New Zealand Navy Band plays in front of USS SAMPSON.

“The work that you did, bringing ashore all sorts of necessary items, along with your use of your helicopters, was much appreciated, and a great reassurance to the people of Kaikoura.” Members of the ships’ crews were formally welcomed in what would be the second haka powhiri of the International Naval Review. Chief Petty Officer Diver Rangi Ehu, with the Maori Culture Group, reprised his challenger role as the manuhiri (guests) arrived at Te Taua Moana marae, with CDR LaBenz picking up the token.

US Ambassador to New Zealand, Mark Gilbert, said “the world had been watching all of you this week, to see how our navies work in Kaikoura in their hour of need. For us to be invited was special, in and of itself. For the Commander to take the ship down, and do what was needed to be done, was something more special.”

He said they were honoured to come to New Zealand. “We have proven once again we have so much in common. We look forward to working with you again.”

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin called the task force’s work “a significant part of history” and said they were all mariners, coming together. “We share common stories, tropical cyclones, earthquakes, bush fires. We have helped each other through all of those. We won’t stop”.

CDR Butler said the truest sign of friendship is everyone being able to work together. CDR Henry agreed. “We very quickly came together as a task group. Within an hour of getting the call, we were tanking up, heading south. It shows how closely our navies work together.”

Below: CPODI Rangi Ehu challenges the manuhiri from the International Task Force. Commander Tim LaBenz leads the guests into Te Taua Moana marae.



Our Navy Creed I am a sailor of the Royal New Zealand Navy Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa I represent the proud heritage of those who have gone before me I serve to protect our people and our whanau with integrity and mana I will follow those above me and lead those below me I embody the Navy’s Core Values – Courage, Commitment, Comradeship and will challenge those who do not He heramana ahau, I am a sailor