Grease Monkey by Trade, Grease Monkey by Nature

25 May 2012

20120503_PH_T1015674_0003: Ordinary Marine Technician Nicole Van de Pas in the Main Engine Room onboard HMNZS OTAGO

Before joining the Navy, Nicole Van de Pas had often thought about becoming a mechanics apprentice, but after her mum strategically placed some Navy pamphlets around the house she decided to give being a Marine Technician in the Royal New Zealand Navy a go.

Now, as she prepares to deploy on one of the Navy’s newest ships, the Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS OTAGO, Ordinary Marine Technician Van De Pas can’t wait to put her training in to practice.

"I joined the Navy to better myself as a person, meet new people and further my career, all while seeing the world at the same time.

"Sailing to the Islands for three months, while ensuring the ship’s propulsion systems are maintained and in good working order is a dream come true," says the ex-Morrinsville College pupil.

Onboard the ship her roles involve both preventative maintenance and breakdown maintenance, skills that are learnt over a period of time and require much practice. In addition she has whole of ship activities to be part of, such as standing at the bow of the ship during berthing and sailing, where she works the lines and helps ensure the safety of the anchor cable.

Her ship is sailing for the Pacific islands at the end of May and will spend three months delivering valuable supplies to outlying Pacific atolls as well as supporting the Samoan 50th celebrations of independence in early June.

Although this will mean a break from her hobbies of working on cars and playing sports, there will be plenty of opportunities to take on local island communities in sporting events during the trip.

"The whole time the Navy is supportive of sports and other outside activities," she says. "Joining the Navy is a good career, you get to gain qualifications and get paid to travel overseas, what could be better!"


For more information please contact Lieutenant Commander Ange Barker – Senior Media and Communications Advisor (Navy) on 021 244 0638


This page was last reviewed on 28 May 2012.