"I have the ship" - Change of command for Navy ship RESOLUTION

photograph of Lieutenant Commander Matthew Wray.

18 January 2011

A ceremony to mark the official change of Commanding Officer of the Navy’s Littoral Warfare Support Ship HMNZS RESOLUTION will be held Thursday, 20 January 2011 at 9:00am, at the Devonport Naval Base.

During the ceremony Commander Shane Arndell will relinquish command of HMNZS RESOLUTION and Lieutenant Commander Matthew Wray will assume command.

The Change of Command Ceremony is traditionally formal and impressive – designed to strengthen the respect for authority, which is vital to any military organisation. The changing of command takes place when Commander Arndell states “You have the ship” and Lieutenant Commander Wray “I have the ship”. 

Witnessing the ceremony will be the crew of HMNZS RESOLUTION, invited guests, family and friends. The Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr will be officiating the Change of Command ceremony.


Lieutenant Commander Matt Wray enlisted in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) as an Ordinary Seaman (uncategorised) in September 1984, and subsequently specialised in the Hydrographic Trade.  He spent the next 12 years at sea, punctuated by promotional and professional courses, on a number of HMNZ Ship’s (MONOWAI, TAKAPU, TARAPUNGA, WAIKATO, CANTERBURY [F421] and a period on HMAS MERMAID with the ADF).  In 1997 he commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant and after Junior Officer Common Training, posted to HMNZS WELLINGTON (F69) where he qualified as an Officer of the Day and Officer of the Watch. 

In 1999 he then returned to Hydrography and the Hydrographic Survey Force.  He attended the Royal Navy Long Hydrographic Survey Course (2001-2002) and on completion posted to HMNZS RESOLUTION as the Hydrographic Operations Officer and Acting Surveyor in Charge.  During this time RESOLUTION was involved in Surveys in support of Land Information New Zealand’s Shipping Lane programme.  After RESOLUTION, he assumed Officer-In-Charge of the Detached Hydrographic Survey Unit (for the survey of Napier Harbour) and a Rapid Environmental Assessment Team for Exercise Croix Du Sud 2004 in New Caledonia.  On completion of this period, he was advanced to Charge Surveyor.  His next sea posting was as the Commissioning Executive Officer of HMNZS CANTERBURY (L421).  After this period, he posted to Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand as the Maritime Exercise and Activity Planner.  He assumed command of RES in November 2010.  

Lieutenant Commander Wray’s operational experience includes Operations Wells and Fargo (1987 Fiji Coups) on HMNZS MONOWAI; six months as a United Nations Military Observer in East Timor (UNTAET, 2000); and 13 months as a Force Field Liaison Officer and Second-In-Command (including a month in command) of the NZ Contingent with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) (Sinai, 2004-2005).  For his efforts in the MFO, he was awarded a Director General’s (Rome) Commendation.

He and his wife Mariane (a LT CDR Psychologist in the RNZN) live in Upper Hutt and have two young children and a cat.  He enjoys keeping fit, reading and full-bore target shooting.


Media are welcome to attend the Change of Command Ceremony at the Devonport Naval Base. Photographic Identification is required for entry to the Naval Base. 

For further information, requests for interviews and registrations of interest to attend the ceremony, please contact Lieutenant Sarah Campbell, Senior Media Adviser-Navy Mob: 021 244 0638

This page was last reviewed on 18 January 2011.