First woman completes command of Navy Inshore Patrol Vessel

Lieutenant Kane Sutherland

New Commander of HMNZS PUKAKI; Lieutenant Kane Sutherland.

Lieutenant Alexandra Hansen has ensured her place New Zealand naval history as the first woman to command a Royal New Zealand Navy Inshore Patrol Vessel, HMNZS PUKAKI.

A ceremony to mark the completion of her Command posting, the official change of Commanding Officer for PUKAKI, will be held at 1000 on Wednesday 14 December 2011 at the Devonport Naval Base.

During the ceremony Lieutenant Hansen will relinquish command of PUKAKI and Lieutenant Kane Sutherland will assume command.

Lieutenant Hansen had many successes whilst in command, including the Pukaki being one of the response vessels during the RENA grounding initial response.  “The last 18 months have been a career highlight and I have been able to experience a wide range of situations with a great team around me,” she said.

”I have enjoyed getting involved in the local community in our home ports of Nelson and Picton as well as being able to help out in real world situations like the Christchurch Quake and the MV Rena grounding.”

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 Lieutenant Hansen states "You have the ship" and Lieutenant Sutherland replies "I have the ship".

Witnessing the ceremony will be the crew of HMNZS PUKAKI, invited guests, families and friends.


Biography - Lieutenant Kane Sutherland.

Lieutenant Kane William Sutherland was born in Napier, New Zealand on 9 Nov 1983.  Whilst still young he moved with his family to the coastal town of Tolaga Bay and later to Gisborne where he grew up and was educated.

He joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in Feb 02 as a Seaman Officer at the rank of Midshipman.  Following Junior Officer Common Training he completed the first phase of his specialist training before commencing university study.  A graduate of the University of Auckland, Kane completed a Bachelor of Science in 2005 majoring in Geography, specialising in Environmental Science.  Kane was promoted to Sub Lieutenant on completion of his studies.

Kane posted to HMNZS TE MANA to further his Officer of the Watch training and was awarded his Grade 3 endorsement for ANZAC class frigates in Mar 06.  Shortly after he posted ashore to commence his Grade 1 and 2 Officer of the Watch courses.  Kane finished as one of the top students and was offered a posting to the Canadian Forces. 

Posted to the HALIFAX class frigate HMCS REGINA, Kane spent 14 months based out of Esquimalt, Canada.  During his posting he conducted a number of military exercises and deployments in South East Asia and the west coast of Canada and the Americas.  Kane was awarded his Bridge Watchkeeping certificate by the Commanding Officer HMCS REGINA and promoted to Lieutenant in 2007.

On return to New Zealand Kane posted to HMNZS TE MANA and deployed to the Arabian Gulf for Operation ARIKI.  As part of this operational deployment he was awarded the Operational Service Medal and the General Service Medal (Afghanistan) (Secondary). 

In Apr 09 Kane completed the Major Fleet Unit Navigating Officers Course and returned to HMNZS TE MANA where he deployed throughout South East Asia for exercises with the Five Power Defence Agreement nations.  In Dec 09 Kane was appointed the Navigating Officer of HMNZS TE MANA. 

Over the period Jul-Sep 10, Kane deployed as the Assistant Task Group Operations Officer within the Singapore-led Combined Task Force 151 embarked in the Singaporean Landing Tank Ship, RSS ENDURANCE.  This mission was focused on Counter Piracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.

Kane posted to HMNZS OTAGO in Oct 10 as the Operations and Navigating Officer.  During his posting he was deployed throughout the South Pacific, New Zealand and more recently to the ice edge in the Southern Ocean conducting multi agency patrols.

Kane lives in Glenfield, North Shore.


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 Commander Ange Barker, Senior Communications and Media Adviser-Navy 021-244 0638

This page was last reviewed on 12 January 2012.