"I Have the ship" - Change of Command ceremonies for HMNZS HAWEA and TAUPO

20111214_PH_M1032159_0070.jpg Official portrait of Lieutenant P.J.C. Baker

Monday 16 January 2012

Two ceremonies to mark the official changes of Commanding Officer for the Navy’s Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS HAWEA and HMNZS TAUPO will be held from 1330 Wednesday 18 January, 2012, at the Devonport Naval Base.

During the ceremony at 1330 Masterton born Lieutenant Paddy Baker will assume Command of HMNZS HAWEA and during the ceremony at 1445 Whangarei born Lieutenant Damian Gibbs will assume command of HMNZS TAUPO.

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 the outgoing Commanding Officer states “You have the ship” and the incoming Commanding Officer replies “I have the ship”. 

Witnessing the ceremonies will be the crews of HMNZS HAWEA and TAUPO along with invited guests, family and friends. The Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr, will be officiating the Change of Command ceremony.


 The Navy’s four Inshore Patrol Vessels ROTOITI, HAWEA, PUKAKI AND TAUPO work around the coast doing border patrol and surveillance, protecting our fisheries and supporting the work of Customs, Police, the Ministry of Fisheries and Department of Conservation

Media are welcome to attend the Change of Command Ceremonies 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 ceremonies, please contact Lieutenant Commander Ange Barker, Senior Media Adviser-Navy Mob: 021 244 0638




Patrick John Carl Baker was born in Masterton in 1980 and joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in January 2004 under the Midshipman Training Scheme as a General List Executive Officer. Upon successful completion of basic training, he was posted to the Frigate HMNZS TE MANA for on the job training, whilst TE MANA was conducting operations in the Arabian Gulf region.

On TE MANA’s return, Paddy was posted for his first professional course, which he achieved Dux for and was subsequently posted back to TE MANA for a South East Asian deployment in 2005. During this time, he was also seconded to the Inshore Patrol Craft HMNZS MOA as the Executive Officer for the Minor War Vessel concentration period, SQUADEX 05, in the Marlborough Sounds.

On return to New Zealand, Paddy completed his second professional course, again achieving Dux, and was posted for exchange with the Royal Navy on the Air Defence Destroyer HMS LIVERPOOL for 1 year. During this time the ship conducted a South Atlantic Patrol of the Falkland and South Georgia Island groups whilst also conducting defence diplomacy visits to West Africa and South America. He achieved his professional qualification as a Warfare Bridge Watchkeeper during this time.

On completion of the exchange, he once again posted to TE MANA as a complement watchkeeper for deployments to South East Asia and the Southern Ocean in 2007, completing the Major Fleet Unit Navigating Officer course towards the end of 2007. TE MANA then returned to the Arabian Gulf in 2008 where Paddy held the roles of Principle Bridge Watchkeeper and Boarding Officer on TE MANA. Paddy took the position of Navigating Officer of TE MANA in November 2008. 

In 2009, TE MANA conducted two three month deployments to China and South East Asia before Paddy posted off to complete Specialist Navigation Training with the Royal Australian Navy, achieving Dux of Long Navigation Course 16. On return, he posted back to TE MANA, once again in the role of Navigating Officer for a five month deployment to Australia and South East Asia in early 2011.

 Paddy completed the Minor War Vessel Command Course in October 2011 in preparation for his new role as the Commanding Officer of the Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS HAWEA. He looks forward to operating around New Zealand and to the different challenges of operating a patrol vessel.

 Paddy’s interests outside of the Navy generally revolve around the restoration of his 1967 Ford Mustang, a car that will continue to drain his bank account for years to come.



Damian Gibbs, of Whangarei, joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2004 as a General List Executive Officer.  Before joining the Navy, he attended Tauraroa Area School, Whangarei, completing his final year at Kamo High School, Whangarei.

 On completion of Junior Officer Training and his Basic Bridge Watchkeeping Course, he posted to HMNZS Kiwi to support the Royal New Zealand Naval Reserves.  He then posted to HMNZS Resolution and was involved in surveying operations around the New Zealand coast.  He completed his Advanced Bridge Watchkeeping course in late 2005 and was posted to HMNZS Te Kaha to obtain an Advanced Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate which he achieved in early 2006.  This was gained in good time showing his natural ability for the job.

 He remained posted to Te Kaha for the next 18 months, completing two South East Asian deployments.  In early 2007 he attended the Introduction to Joint Warfare Course in Malaysia, with representatives from New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.  On his return he posted to HMNZS Manawanui as the Navigating officer for a short period prior to attending the Ship Command Course and the Major Fleet Unit Navigator’s Course.

 In mid 2009 HMNZS Hawea was commissioned into the fleet, and he enjoyed the challenges and rewards that he faced as the second in command when introducing a new ship into the RNZN.  On completion of his posting to Hawea he was selected to represent the RNZN Rugby Team at the Commonwealth Cup in England, the highlight of this trip was being selected as the Player of the Tournament.  He posted to HMNZS Canterbury as the Navigating Officer in early 2010 and remained there until late 2011.  During this time he was involved in a number of exercises in the Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand.  He is now looking forward to the challenges and rewards during his first command HMNZS Taupo, and the first opportunity to return to the ships and his own home port.

Lieutenant Gibbs can be found in his spare time around the coast of New Zealand scuba diving and fishing, with friends and family.


This page was last reviewed on 16 January 2012.