PHOTO CAPTION: All Black fans Olivia, Molly, Jane and Hannah pose alongside HMNZS TAUPO.
5 October 2011
More than 23,000 people visited Navy ships during the RNZN’s 70th Anniversary celebrations in Wellington last weekend.
“Wellington’s waterfront was buzzing,” said Lieutenant Luke Taylor, Commanding Officer of Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS TAUPO.
“The public really enjoyed visiting the ships and meeting the sailors. It was great to show people what we do and the equipment we use. At the end of the day the ships belong to the public so it was great to have them on board.”
As well as visiting the ships the public donated $11,071 to Rotary’s gold-coin donation which will be shared among three charities, including the ship’s charity for HMZNS WELLINGTON, Kimi Ora School. The other recipients are Wellington Free Ambulance to purchase defibrillators and the NZ Emergency Response Kits appeal.
A sailor from TE KAHA, Leading Marine Technician (Propulsion) George Gurney, said it was awesome to be applauded as he marched down Lambton Quay.
“It’s been great fun. I’ve had my photo taken so many times, and everyone wants to meet you. An awesome experience!”
Lieutenant Taylor said the superb weather and Rugby World Cup activities on Wellington’s waterfront created a carnival atmosphere.
“Everyone was smiling and having a great time. It was hard work for the sailors, but they had a great time too. It really boosts morale to know the public appreciate what we do.”
Five ships were open to the public as part of the Navy’s 70th Anniversary celebrations. The most popular ship was the frigate HMNZS TE KAHA, which had 7798 visitors, with multi-role vessel CANTERBURY next most popular with 5418 visitors.
A Youtube video of the ships in Cook Strait has also been released. The footage was shot from an Air Force Iroquois Helicopter on Wednesday 28 September and shows 10 Navy ships sailing in formation through Cook Strait. The video can be viewed and shared from: