Photo Caption:01_1941_AAF_0195 - Ships of the fleet. HMNZS ACHILLES, veteran of the Battle of the River Plate, 1945.
22 September 2011
In a once in a lifetime event, 11 ships of the Royal New Zealand Navy will visit Wellington to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Navy’s founding on 1 October 1941.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see almost all the ships of the Navy in one place at one time,” said Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr.
“On 1 October 1941 King George VI gave approval for the title Royal New Zealand Navy to be used. From that date New Zealand’s Navy was a sovereign force, and since that time thousands of sailors have served the nation with courage, commitment and comradeship,” said Rear Admiral Parr.
The fleet will concentrate in Cook Strait on Wednesday 28 September, and undertake a series of manoeuvres and exercises before entering harbour on Thursday the 29th. Navy ships usually operate independently in one and two’s, so bringing the fleet to Wellington is a rare opportunity to train together.
On arriving in Wellington the ships will berth in the inner harbour, and during the weekend will be open to the public. On Saturday 400 Navy personnel will parade down Lambton Quay following a ceremony at Parliament to change the Navy’s Queen’s Colour – a ceremonial flag that symbolises the Navy’s relationship with Her Majesty the Queen.
The celebration will conclude on Monday when the fleet will anchor in formation in the harbour and the ships will be reviewed by His Excellency, Lieutenant General, the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO Governor-General of New Zealand. Following the review the fleet will disperse to operations and exercises in South East Asia, the Solomon Islands and around the New Zealand coast.
“New Zealanders can be proud of their Navy,” said Rear Admiral Parr. “Our ships and people are capable of operating around New Zealand’s coast, into the Pacific, down to the Southern Oceans, in South and East Asia, and as far afield as the Arabian Gulf. We can undertake tasks as varied as combat operations to fisheries patrols and everything in between.”
“We are proud of the work and service we provide for the government and people of New Zealand. I invite the public of the Wellington region to visit the ships, meet our sailors and experience a little of life and work in the Navy.”
Navy 70th Anniversary Programme
Wednesday 28th September
Fleet concentration begins off Wellington. Fleet exercises and manoeuvres.
Thursday 29th September
Frigates, Naval Support Force and Offshore Patrol Vessels arrive in Wellington.
0945 - 21 Gun Salute to His Excellency the Governor General from HMNZS TE MANA
Friday 30th September
Inshore Patrol Vessels arrive in Wellington.
Saturday 1st October
1000 – 1200, Changing of the Queen’s Colour, Parliament Grounds. The public are invited to attend.
1200 – 1230, Street Parade on Lambton Quay, Parliament to Civic Square. Four hundred sailors and the Navy band.
1200 – 1600, Ships open to visitors, Queen’s Wharf and Taranaki Street Terminal. The ships will open to the public at midday with the final guests embarking at 1500 pm.
These self guided tours will be throughout various operational areas of the ships and may include ladders and narrow passageways. Flat, sturdy shoes are encouraged.
Ships open to visitors: HMNZS Te Kaha, HMNZS Canterbury, HMNZS Wellington, HMNZS Hawea, HMNZS Rotoiti.
Sunday 2nd October
1000 - Wreath Laying, National War Memorial.
1100 – 1500, Ships Open to Visitors, Queen’s Wharf and Taranaki Street Terminal. The ships will be open to the public at 1100 am with the final guests embarking at 1500 pm.
Ships open to visitors:HMNZS Te Kaha, HMNZS Canterbury, HMNZS Wellington, HMNZS Hawea, HMNZS Rotoiti.
1400 – 1600, RNZN Anniversary Church Service, Cathedral of St Pauls. Members of the public are welcome to attend. Please be seated by 2.00 pm.
Monday 3rd October
Fleet proceeds to Anchor in Harbour, between Aotea Quay and Matiu Somes Island.
1300 – 1500 Fleet Review, His Excellency the Governor-General and VIP’s embarked onboard HMNZS Resolution.
1700 - Ships begin to depart Wellington.
1000 - Anniversary Church Service incorporating laying up of the old Queens Colour in the Naval Chapel of St Christopher’s, Devonport Naval Base.
There are places onboard a RNZN Inshore Patrol Vessel for media wishing to cover the entry of the fleet into Wellington on Thursday 29th September. The IPV will depart Wellington 0700 and berth between 1200 – 1300.
Media places are available on the reviewing ship for the Fleet Review, HMNZS RESOLUTION, on Monday 3rd October. Media must be aboard by 1230, returning to port 1600.
For further information please contact: Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group 021 569 130