All I Want For Christmas Is A Ship

14 December 2012

Commander Shane Arndell and wife Alice on the bow of Navy Frigate HMNZS TE MANA.

Commander Shane Arndell and wife Alice on the bow of Navy Frigate HMNZS TE MANA.




Mount Maunganui local Shane Arndell received an early Christmas present when he assumed command of one of the Navy’s frigates at Devonport Naval Base on Tuesday.

Commander (CDR) Shane Arndell assumed command of HMNZS TE MANA at an official Change of Command ceremony. TE MANA's Ship's Company of 176 personnel formed up to farewell Commander David Toms, MNZM, RNZN, and welcome their new captain.

When speaking to his new crew, Commander Arndell highlighted the honour of commanding the ship and leading the crew. "This is a proud day for me, and for my family who have supported me throughout my Naval career. This role is a true highlight, something I have been aspiring to since the day I joined the Navy. I look forward to leading the crew of TE MANA into 2013."

TE MANA will commence 2013 with a period of concentrated training before deploying further afield.

At 11:30am Lieutenant Grant Bicknell (Napier) also assumed command of HMNZS HAWEA. One of four Inshore Patrol Vessels, HAWEA is primarily tasked with support to Fisheries and Customs taskings around New Zealand's coastline.


For further information, please contact Lieutenant Commander Vicki Rendall, Senior Media Adviser-Navy Mob: 021 244 0638



Commander Shane Arndell was born in Tauranga, New Zealand. He grew up in the seaside town of Mount Maunganui and was educated at Mount Maunganui College before joining the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1990.

After initial training as a rating in the Writer (Administration) Branch, Shane was commissioned as Midshipman on the General List (Executive) in January 1991. At the end of his Junior Officers Common Training he was awarded the Minister of Defence ‘Sword of Honour’ as top graduate.

Shane’s postings throughout his career has seen service at sea as a Bridge Watch Keeping Officer and Aircraft Control Officer in all RNZN frigates from 1994 to 1999; as a Principle Warfare Officer in HMNZS Te Kaha in 2001; and Operations Officer on the Leander Frigate HMNZS Canterbury in 2003, HMNZS Te Mana in 2004 and the Logistic Support Ship HMNZS Canterbury in 2007. He was appointed Executive Officer in HMNZS Te Mana from August 2004 to April 2005, and on HMNZS Canterbury in 2008. Shane was selected for Command in 2006 and was posted as the Commanding Officer of Hydrographical Survey Ship HMNZS Resolution from February 2009 to November 2010.

Postings ashore included appointments in Naval Staff as the Deputy Director Naval Operations in 1997 and 1998, and a posting to Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand from 2002 to 2003.

Operational Service during his career to date includes service at sea as an Aircraft Controller and Bridge Watch Keeping Officer in HMNZS Te Kaha during the Timor Independence Crisis and deployment to the North Arabian Gulf enforcing United Nations Sanctions against Iraq in 1999; service with the United Nations Transition Authority East Timor as a Military Observer from July 2002 to January 2003; and as the Operations Officer in HMNZS Te Mana for Operation Enduring Freedom in the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Gulf in 2004.

Shane was promoted to Commander on 29 November 2010, and was appointed as the Military Assistant to the Chief of Navy and General List Executive Officers Career Manager until taking up his current appointment as Commanding Officer of HMNZS Te Mana on 12 December 2012.

Shane lives in Martinborough with his wife Alice and their three year old daughter Isobel. He enjoys spending his spare time at home working on his ever developing garden and is an avid golfer. Shane also enjoys reading and running around after Isobel whenever he is hom

This page was last reviewed on 17 December 2012.