Royal New Zealand Navy | Navy Today - Issue 249, November 2020

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Contents 04 HMNZS CANTERBURY works up

24 Career transition support

06 HMNZS TE KAHA on Sea Trials

27 Loadmaster graduation

13 Working in a MIQF

32 Rugby success

16 Career and flexibility

34 Changes to VA legislation

20 From Army to Navy

“ What I have enjoyed the most is seeing the crew come together and build a culture of success. I think that is a defining characteristic of a warship, that desire to win and win well.” ~ Commander Brock Symmons, Commanding Officer HMNZS TE KAHA

06 Navy Today is the official magazine of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Established to inform, inspire and entertain serving and former members of the RNZN, their families, friends and the wider Navy Community. Published by: Defence Public Affairs HQ NZ Defence Force Wellington, New Zealand


Editor: Andrew Bonallack Email: Design and Layout: Defence Public Affairs


Printed by: Bluestar Private Bag 39996, Wellington Distribution: Email:

16 Contributions are welcomed, including stories, photographs and letters. Please submit stories and letters by email in Microsoft Word or the body of an email. Articles up to 500 words welcomed, longer if required by the subject. Please consult the editor about long articles. Digital photos submitted by email also welcomed, at least 500kb preferred. Stories published in Navy Today cannot be published elsewhere without permission. Copy deadline is the 15th of the month for the following issue. Subject to change. Views expressed in Navy Today are not necessarily those of the RNZN or the NZDF. Defence Careers: Phone: 0800 1FORCE (0800 136 723) Changing Address? To join or leave our mailing list, please contact: Email:

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Front cover: Bridge personnel in HMNZS CANTERBURY react during force protection status as part of the ship’s work-up. Back cover: Two sailors respond to a firefighting training scenario in HMNZS CANTERBURY. Photographer: CPL Dillon Anderson

Yours Aye Sailor of the Year 2019

I am humbled to be asked to contribute the Yours Aye for this edition of Navy Today, coming at the end of my time as the Sailor of the Year. The honour of being recognised as the Sailor of the Year has been both a privilege and a learning experience that presented a lot of opportunities. I have been asked to share my thoughts on 2020 – an extraordinary year for the Royal New Zealand Navy and the New Zealand Defence Force as a whole.

“ As we close out 2020 and look to next year, look out for each other, ask your divisional chain what’s happening next, and be that bridge.”

As Sailor of the Year I took it upon myself to support command and help get messaging out to the Junior Rates. As a Junior Rate myself, it’s that ‘messaging’ that I want to talk about. I’ve been visiting the units and I’ve had heaps of questions put to me. Junior Rates worry about things. They aren’t thinking about 2025 or 2030. They are wanting to know what we’re doing next year. Are we going to have ships going around New Zealand? Are we going to the Pacific? What will the Navy look like next year? Should I put in leave? What’s happening with allowances and Navy housing? Am I going to be pulled in to support the MIQFs? I tell them, just wait. You will be told. Ask your Chief, ask your PO, use that divisional chain. Information is being passed down. But perhaps it’s not being ‘decrypted’. It’s easy to just click ‘forward’ in an email and send out information, but it needs people willing to take the time, to break it down from senior leadership interpretation for those younger Junior Rates to understand. As I said, it’s something a Sailor of the Year gets asked to help with, as a bridge to the Junior Rates, but there’s only so much I can do. The youngsters that arrive at our gates today are talented people who go on to add a lot of value to the organisation. They’re a generation that doesn’t stand back. They want to engage. They want the information, they want the detail, and they have a lot of ideas. There was a time when you got told what to do and you did it. Now, we take on the task – and we ask questions as well. That’s cool. I see it as a win.

My time as Sailor of the Year has given me a real appreciation for the work of senior leadership. I used to think decisions were a snap of the finger. That it was a case of, it’s approved, make it so. Now I appreciate the amount of work and policy that goes into decisions, some that depend on Chief of Defence Force or even Government involvement. I’ve had my standard duties mixed in with the Sailor of the Year programme activities. I’ve been doing ceremonial training with the JOCTs and BCTs and it was great to see them graduate with the families present. I’ve visited the sailors working with Customs at our ports. Those were Ordinary Rates, Able Rates, who went out, did what we asked them to do, and did it well. That was awesome. I’ve seen a lot of business carried out during two lockdowns. I’ve heard from sailors who have actually enjoyed the unique circumstances of 2020, while others have told me they felt really challenged. What’s pleased me the most is hearing that they have had support. It’s cool seeing our sailors supporting each other and relying on mates. Keep in mind, though, when you help someone through their challenges, you might be dealing with your own challenges as well. There are resources out there, like the Padres, like Force for Families, ready to support us. I would rather the junior rates become the bridge to those resources, because if you are a support person you can only handle so much. As we close out 2020 and look to next year, look out for each other, ask your divisional chain what’s happening next, and be that bridge. If you become that bridge to our professional support network, it means everyone is finding the help they need. He Heramana Ahau I am a sailor

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HMNZS CANTERBURY WORKS UP HMNZS CANTERBURY opens fire using blank ammunition on a fast-moving target. It’s all part of CANTERBURY’s ‘workup’ in the Hauraki Gulf last month, a rigorous three-week honing of seamanship and operational skills for the entire crew, all under the eye of the Maritime Operations Evaluation Team (MOET). They put the Ship’s Company through its paces, in drills involving warfare, core mariner skills, damage control, aviation, survivability, and C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance). The team sets a fictitious scenario for the ship. In this instance, CANTERBURY was in the vicinity of a Pacific Island with cyclone-related issues and a law and order problem, meaning some locals were unhappy about the presence of a Navy vessel. In assuming a Force Protection mode, the ship has to protect itself. Standard procedure for an approaching vessel includes five short blasts on the horn, then firing of flares. It progresses to shots fired across the bow. CANTERBURY, in achieving her Directed Level of Capability (DLOC), proceeded to Tokelau this month to deliver a cargo-hold full of infrastructure materials, including solar panels and water tanks. We’ll cover that mission in our December issue.

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HMNZS TE KAHA on Sea Trials If you want to be a combat capable warship, there’s not really a plan for coming second. As HMNZS TE KAHA completes her sea trials in Canada, Commander Brock Symmons, Commanding Officer, talks to Navy Today about a full Ship’s Company earning the right to call themselves a TE KAHA crew. The concept of HMNZS TE KAHA at sea has been a long time coming for CDR Symmons. Since assuming command on 2 August 2018, he started off alternating between Canada and New Zealand, taking short visits to the ‘Keep Alive Team’ in Esquimalt as TE KAHA became a construction site.

Above: TE KAHA conducted a force protection entry on return to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, involving armed sentries and gun crews closed up. Left: HMNZS TE KAHA as seen from HMCS CALGARY. Photo: HMCS CALGARY

In September 2019, two-thirds of the Ship’s Company went to Canada to start the process of reactivation and taking custody of the ship. But the global COVID-19 pandemic derailed the process, dropping the complement back to just a caretaker team. In June, the entire Ship’s Company were finally able to deploy to Canada. The Ship’s Company now live on board and for many, it’s not like it’s a return to familiar surroundings. It’s been over two years since TE KAHA was in New Zealand, and nearly half of the crew have never been on a frigate before. Warship accommodation takes some getting used to, he says.

“ It’s a different level of accommodation compared to the rest of the fleet,” he says, “but the team have done well and learnt and adapted quickly. It certainly helps having a very good group of chefs to keep everyone well fed.”

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“ The weight is about the same but she feels a little sharper with the balance shifting slightly, so we seem to tip in to a turn a bit more quickly, which is always nice. I think the looks on the faces of Officers of the Watch when we throw the ship about a bit sums it up pretty well.”

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CDR Symmons has a solid history with TE KAHA. He obtained his watchkeeping qualifications on her, and has served as Principal Warfare Officer, Operations Officer and Executive Officer. Seeing TE KAHA de-masted with holes in her side was an interesting experience. “To be fair, it was a bit sad seeing her in a fairly parlous state when we were in the throes of the industrial phase, but the transformation has been quite remarkable. I often think of it like building a house, where the framing and roofing coming up quickly then it seems to stall, but once you start the fit out and finishing, what seems to have been a shell is quickly restored. That has made it quite exciting as we completed the industrial work and could see the rapid transition to what she is now. I am quite partial to the new lines of the superstructure and think that she looks pretty good.” Today, the daily routine is like any other ship in the fleet, he says. “We balance training, maintenance, new system integration and the everpresent administration to build TE KAHA into something we can be proud of.” The realities of COVID-19 are ever-present as well. “The restrictions are like those of Level 2-plus that Auckland experienced and that has its challenges for all of us, but I have a very good crew who have adapted to the restrictions. They make the most of the opportunity to do cool things, with cool people, in cool places.”

On a crystal-clear fine morning on 7 September, TE KAHA headed to sea for her Sea Acceptance Trials (SATs), 917 days since the ship arrived in Canada. “It was a very proud day that brings home the responsibility and privilege that comes with being given the opportunity to command at sea. A lot of people had contributed in a multitude of ways to enable the ship to sail and I think the way she went when we cleared out of harbour was a just reward for those efforts.” TE KAHA is a fun ship to drive, he says. “The weight is about the same but she feels a little sharper with the balance shifting slightly, so we seem to tip in to a turn a bit more quickly, which is always nice. I think the looks on the faces of Officers of the Watch when we throw the ship about a bit sums it up pretty well.”

Above: A Lear Jet passes overhead, helping TE KAHA conduct sensor alignment and verification trials of tracking a high-speed target. Opposite Page: Sensor alignment and verification trials, involving a Royal Canadian Navy Helicopter. TE KAHA successfully launched two Decoy Launched Floating (DLF) devices, designed to replicate the radar signature of a ship and lure incoming missiles away from the ship. The first launch of an Expendable Acoustic Device, designed to be fired into the water to seduce incoming torpedoes away from the ship.

CDR Symmons is excited about the new combat technology and the capability of the ship. But in terms of culture and profession, she feels the same on the inside. “What I have enjoyed the most is seeing the crew come together and build a culture of success. I think that is defining characteristic of a warship, that desire to win and win well. The Ship’s Company has invested in themselves and our Ship to make sure that we earn the right to call ourselves a TE KAHA crew. To me, that’s the most exciting, knowing the team want to be better than good and are willing to put in the effort to do that. It’s that desire that will see Naval Combat regenerated and imbue the pride in our step, showing the gunfighters are back at sea.”

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A Sailor’s Perspective y ASCS Kirstie Parsons B TE KAHA Sailor of the Quarter

Regenerating HMNZS TE KAHA has been filled with many highs and challenges. In the early stages of regeneration the team involved with seamanship was very small and a large amount of responsibility fell to me to make decisions that reflected my whole department. Once COVID hit, those challenges multiplied. Though by this time I had my Petty Officer with me to help and support me, the two of us had the mammoth task of regenerating TE KAHA’s seamanship department as the only two Seaman Combat Specialists who remained behind as part of the ‘Keep Alive’ crew while the majority of Ship’s Company flew back to New Zealand. I am proud of the effort from the team who stayed, both in what we achieved for the ship and for each other. We kept each other safe and sane during lockdown and I am forever grateful to all of them.

A high point for me personally was seeing the rest of Ship’s Company arrive in June, I was stoked. It seemed like the milestone of getting TE KAHA back to sea was that much closer. Once the whole team completed Sea Acceptance Readiness Checks and we commenced Sea Acceptance Trials it really felt that the months of hard work had paid off – TE KAHA was going back to sea and I knew I had had a direct part to play in that. For the period we have been at sea in the last few months, the crew has been focussed on executing Sea Acceptance Trials. For me and my team, that has meant many hours in the RHIB at high speed, manoeuvring closely with the ship to test her new radars. During this time I managed to achieve my coxswain endorsement, something I am particularly proud of. Work aside, one of the things I have most enjoyed about my time in Canada has been the opportunity to travel and see many parts of what is a spectacular country. Even after the advent of COVID, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have seen and experienced all that I have in my time here. For those who get the opportunity, Banff is a must see; the snow, the mountains and the lakes are astonishingly beautiful.

I am extremely thankful to whoever who nominated me for Sailor of the Quarter. There have been so many stand-out members of Ship’s Company in the last few months, that to even be considered is a privilege. The challenges we all went through in these past months have developed me professionally and as a leader. I feel very accomplished with what I have contributed to regenerating TE KAHA and I cannot wait to see her home again soon.

Above: ASCS Kirstie Parsons with her Sailor of the Quarter award.

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TE MANA UPDATE Navy Today keeps up with the latest on our frigates undergoing their Frigate Systems Upgrades in Esquimalt, Canada. We talk to Able Marine Technician (Propulsion) Jacob Brown in HMNZS TE MANA. It’s easy, with the excitement of the new-look HMNZS TE KAHA and her Ship’s Company going to sea, to forget that there’s a good reason things still work when you slip the lines. For example, for both frigates TE KAHA and TE MANA, anything that moves normally when at sea has to be kept moving while the ship is in dock or tied up for long periods, at least every so often. For TE MANA, that’s the job of her detachment team (TEMDET), effectively the ‘Keep Alive’ team that maintains the ship’s legacy equipment. If something normally rotates at sea, the team need to continue that natural movement on a regular basis to prevent it seizing or developing damage.

Left: A view of HMNZS TE MANA’s new mast, as seen from the bow.

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AMT(P) Brown, who arrived in Canada in March for his second rotation, is part of a detachment of 18. He’ll stay in Canada until TE MANA returns to New Zealand, at this stage anticipated to be late 2021 – a year after TE KAHA. He says every day the marine technicians and weapon technicians head to the ship to conduct daily turning routines. “We start our day at 0800 with a team meeting and delegate tasks. Examples of items to turn are the shafts and propellers, three times a week, while all air compressors, sea water pumps, hotel services and engines are turned weekly. We’re always scanning the decks looking for minor defects to mend that we otherwise wouldn’t have the time to fix at sea. That can take up to lunchtime and any time after that can be used for weekly paperwork or study.”

The team maintain a strict sign-in, sign-out routine on the flight deck. It’s effectively a construction site under the control of the contractor, so hard hats, safety glasses and boots are required in many areas. More recently, face masks have become mandatory for the dockyard as a whole.

“ We have specified routes on the ship to avoid people being in close proximity, and we have to keep the twoHe posted to TE MANA in 2018 and metre separation knows the ship’s systems well. “It’s strange seeing it all being stripped where possible. apart and re-arranged. However, the new capability the frigates are getting We’re only on will put us ‘up there’ with the big players on the warfare scene, and give our frigates more years of life.” board when it’s necessary.”

On the shipyard and beyond, COVID-19 limits the team significantly. There is no unnecessary travel in Canada, and no gatherings of larger than six people. Common rooms in accommodation areas are closed. Local stores that are open have social distancing rules and limits to the number of people allowed in the shop at any one time. When TE MANA’s Ship’s Company arrives in January, they’ll have to do a two-week quarantine first. But it’s not a lockdown. Personnel can stay at Naden Naval Base, but some have opted to go flatting off base. “I’ve been playing a lot of golf, finding lakes with some cliff jumps, hikes, dining and experiencing the local breweries/ pubs that are located in the Esquimalt CBD. Three of us ran the Oak Bay half marathon and managed to gather some donations for the men’s cancer foundation.” He says left hand drive cars, for the right side of the road, take a bit of getting used to, as do the hospitality customs.“Tipping here is considered compulsory with dining and drinking, around 15 to 20 percent of your bill. The exchange rate is similar to New Zealand’s, so not a lot of guesswork when you buy things. When out in town people are very friendly and super-keen to know what part of Australia we are from!”

Left: Masks are the norm for the TEMDET team. Far Right: TE MANA’s personnel enjoying a hike in the nearby forests.

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Navy in the nation’s fight against the global pandemic

With 32 Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities (MIQFs) to administer and 12 ports to monitor, the New Zealand Defence Force regularly rotates between 900 and 1,200 personnel throughout New Zealand as part of the All of Government response to COVID-19.

For Devonport Naval Base, this means providing personnel for the 18 hotels used for MIQFs across Auckland, as well as assisting NZ Customs at Auckland and Whangarei ports. The base’s involvement came early. In February its training facility at Whangaparaoa Peninsula – Tamaki Leadership Centre – became New Zealand’s first quarantine facility in modern times, welcoming 157 returnees from Wuhan, China, followed by a smaller number of returnees from cruise ship Diamond Princess. Following the closure of New Zealand’s borders in March, the Navy base has steadily supported the staffing of MIQFs in Auckland. Personnel are assigned for tasking, working one week on and one week off. Their roles are administrative, handling queries and issues, coordinating guest requirements and supervising All of Government evolutions. Alongside them are nurses, District Health Board staff, security, NZ Police, hotel staff and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Ministry of Health (MoH) representatives.

Chief Petty Officer Weapon Technician Greg Bishell has been involved in the Auckland MIQFs since April, being among the first Navy personnel to help establish, administer and ultimately manage them. CPOWT Bishell worked hard alongside Warrant Officer Weapon Technician Keri Weeks to maintain his vision, to establish a fitfor-purpose structure to help eliminate the spread of COVID-19 whilst maintaining the health, safety and wellbeing of guests and staff. There’s a lot to deal with, but he says the week on, week off routine means he gets to “help my country, serve the Navy, and get plenty of quality time with my family. I’m happy wearing PPE and maintaining distancing. It’s all about personal responsibility, following the MoH guidelines and protocols at the end of the day”. His experience later led him to help set up the MIQFs at the Holiday Inn and Grand Millennium in Auckland. Additionally he had the opportunity to act as 2IC in a Regional Isolation and Quarantine Command Centre. “With increased people coming into the country, we needed more beds. We did some big days in there.”

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“ We all signed on the dotted line to help our country. It's a very busy job, but if you care about people, it’s easy. It is not a rankspecific tasking; you need to have empathy and be a personable person.”

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His latest management responsibility is at the Sudima Hotel where he is rostered alongside his Technical Career Managers Chief Petty Officer Electronic Technician Matthew Scott and Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician (Propulsion) Mathew Sara. CPOWT Bishell further injects his experiences at MIQF Professional Development Training for the sustainment of Operation Protect.

conversations and apply a lot of humour, We know what to expect, and we can front-foot returnees' expectations and concerns. We tell them about life in the Navy, and we can talk them through what it’s going to be like in the hotel. Showing a bit of empathy toward returnees in hotels goes a long way.” He says perhaps 85 per cent of people cope fine, while the remainder need guidance and support.

The Navy is well placed for this task and CPOWT Bishell draws on similar experiences. “On ships, we’re confined to limited spaces for a long periods of time.” He acknowledges that, for a sailor, operating in a hotel environment for seven days is more comfortable than working on a ship, but it’s still a small space with very little freedom. “We go away on deployment a lot, and leave our families. I’ve spent approximately 3,500 days at sea. We can relate to what returnees are going through. Sailors have techniques for coping with separation anxiety and stress, we have courageous

He’s glad he can help returning citizens and residents. “We all signed on the dotted line to help our country,” he says. “It’s a very busy job, but if you care about people, it’s easy.” It is not a rank-specific tasking; you need to have empathy and be a personable person. “It’s something a sailor picks up naturally, meeting and understanding different cultures and diversities around the world. You’ve seen a lot.” CPOWT Bishell says he had to dust off a lot of leadership framework tools learnt in the Navy. “It’s all transferable to the civilian sector and applicable when working in a MIQF.”



Andrew Charnley Distribution Centre Manager for Defence Logistics Command (Maritime)

The Civilian of the Year for 2020 is Andrew Charnley, the Distribution Centre Manager for Defence Logistics Command (Maritime). It’s a role Mr Charnley, a former sailor, took up in January 2019. He is responsible for managing the operational aspects of the Naval Supply Depot (NSD) warehouse in support of NZDF operations, with a primary focus on the maritime domain.

In his citation, Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor says since starting this role, Mr Charnley has worked tirelessly to create an inclusive and collaborative workplace in which all team members understand their value and how they contribute to the outputs of the unit and the wider Navy. “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, Mr Charnley immediately volunteered to be the senior person working within NSD. Following the rapid shift in Alert Levels, he quickly introduced key initiatives which safeguarded personnel and the wider NSD staff bubble. He displayed outstanding courage, integrity and leadership in making decisions which were integral to the Defence Logistics Command

(Maritime)’s ability to continue to support the Fleet, ensuring both the Government’s intent and the Maritime Component Commander’s priorities were adhered to. “Mr Charnley has an enthusiasm and drive that has proven to be vital throughout 2020, and not just in the face of COVID-19. He continually motivates his team to relentlessly pursue business improvement initiatives, while providing nothing short of excellence in support to his customers.”

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Flexibility key in return to Navy In a write-up to the Navy Today editor, Chief Petty Officer Medic Jo Dixon warns that her rambles on ‘how the Navy has changed’ are a product of a sailor left to her own devices during two 14-day isolation periods. It’s a great opening line, and prompts a phone call from the editor. CPOMED Dixon, the Navy’s Fleet Operational Safety Officer (FOSO), explains how she’s just arrived back in New Zealand from Canada, having helped oversee HMNZS TE KAHA’s Sea Acceptance Readiness Checks. She has some good yarns on the effects of a double isolation, mainly involving Netflix, Spotify, impressive fitness regimes and really perfecting that uniform ironing routine. But she also reflects on how lucky she is to work for the Royal New Zealand Navy, having left to become a mum, and now returned to an exciting new role. So when asked, ‘what’s changed’ in the Navy, it’s the increased flexibility of working arrangements she notices the most. She’s close to that concept, having left the Navy after 18 years to go on maternity leave, and then give birth to her son George. After four years away, she’s returned to the Service, commuting from Nelson where her husband is a stay-at-home father on their lifestyle block.

“I had no idea I would come back,” she says. “I stayed in the Reserves – HMNZS PEGASUS – but I thought I had done my dash.” She says being a mum, you can lose your identity a bit. “You become George’s mum. You lose a lot of confidence about work, because you’re just at home, talking to a toddler. It was just him and me, shop, cots and child. I know I’m a Chief Petty Officer, and I’m proud of being George’s mum. But you question who you are, just a bit. I didn’t expect that.” She saw the role of FOSO advertised through the reserves. As it happened, she had re-qualified in Occupational Health and Safety up to a Level 6 diploma, using the Defence Force Voluntary Education Study Assistance scheme. “I saw the FOSO role and thought, that’s what I’m looking for.” The support for her return has been positive and ongoing. “I will be honest with you here and admit that it has not been easy returning to work after being a stay-at-home mum, especially when that requires leaving my son and husband behind to commute. It has, however, been made much easier due to the support of... well, everyone. The encouragement, guidance and even patience from my Commander, Manager, work colleagues and friends (past and present), Captain Fleet Operational Readiness, Maritime Component Commander and Chief of Navy has been overwhelmingly amazing. Comradeship within the Navy is as strong as it has ever been, and I know this to be true, as I have been on the receiving end of it and cannot be more grateful.”

“It appears to me that there is a higher appreciation of the personal sacrifices sailors make for the Navy. There is a real sense of compassion and genuine attempt for personnel to really have a work-life balance. COVID-19 has taught us that we can still achieve a lot at home. And when I’m in Auckland, I’m happy to do longer hours; there’s no point just sitting in my cabin. So I maintain all my outputs.” Other changes she has noticed in her time away is leadership and communication. “There’s a shift in the way sailors think, show initiative and ask questions. Two-way communication is encouraged by Command, moving from what has been a traditional one-way system, and it’s achieved without loss of respect. For me, it makes things safer. The Safe Sailor Policy encourages their right, regardless of rank, to raise a safety issue. That’s empowered them.” She says she loves what she does, and where she does it. “I always thought the Navy was good, but it’s way better than it used to be. It’s fabulous. It’s good to be back!”

She also praises the increased flexibility of working arrangements in the Defence Force. She works from Monday to Thursday in Auckland, works from home in Nelson on Friday, and goes back to Auckland on a Sunday. Other times, she’s had a solid two weeks in Auckland, and taken a week off at home.

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Not long to go HMNZS TE KAHA’s Ship’s Company pose for a photograph in Esquimalt, Canada.

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From Army to Navy

Brendon Watts says he enjoyed the Army, but “saw the light” when he did joint electrical technician training with Navy personnel. Today, Able Electronics Technician Watts is still loving his trade, but now as a Navy sailor, posted to HMNZS CANTERBURY. “I joined the Army in 2016, straight out of Western Heights College in Rotorua,” he says. “I wanted to be in the police force originally, and I talked to an Armed Offenders officer, to get some idea of direction. He told me, join the military – that’s what he had done.”

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He spent four years in the Army, with two of those working towards his trade qualification alongside Electronic Technicians from the Navy. “And that’s when I saw the light. These guys I was on the course with, they were talking to me about where they had been, what they were doing, and where they were going. I loved the Army, and I loved being in the workshops, but the only place you got sent to was Waiouru. These guys had already been to South East Asia. It just grabbed me. I wanted to do that, to be able to travel more.” It wasn’t too big a change to switch services, he says. “My command chain was really good putting a service change proposal together, and they helped me as much as they could. It was all pretty smooth.” What helped was they saw he was keen and had a plan. “I had that drive, that this was what I wanted to do. I made a plan, a schedule, and they saw that.”

He had to retrain in the Navy elements of his job, and then do the Damage Control course and Seamanship courses. “And it’s just being here now, on base and on ship, where you pick up on certain things that the Navy do. Even ‘jack-speak’ (Navy slang).” He’s been in HMNZS CANTERBURY since June, just after the first COVID-19 lockdown. “I’m really enjoying it. The camaraderie is pretty good, and there’s three hot meals and a shower.” He says NZDF personnel are supported in decision-making like this. “It’s really good to have had command back my decision. Now I’m happy to get through the ranks, and get some time under my belt.”


Plenty of options ahead

Vance Bell is a man who likes to weigh up his options for qualifications and career. He’s found those choices within the Royal New Zealand Navy. Leading Marine Technician (Electrical) Bell, from Peka Peka on the Kapiti Coast, joined the Navy in 2014, not long after finishing at Paraparaumu College. “For me, it was a mix of really enjoying being on the ocean when I was young and having a big sense of adventure. My dad was in the Air Force and the Defence Force has always been in my view.”

He says he got his university acceptance and could have gone that route. “But I decided, it was time for adventure. I can do university later. I’m only 24, there’s plenty of possibilities.” In fact, a year into the Navy, he seriously contemplated the option of commissioning as an officer and going to university. “But I chose not to for now. Staying on as a Marine Technician, you qualify as an electrician after a few years. I thought, if I get qualified, I will own my own business one day, and be in the trade for myself.” LMT(L) Bell is posted to HMNZS CANTERBURY and is now working towards his Engineering Officer of the Watch qualifications. He’s juggling the house market at the moment, looking to buy a house with his partner. He’s a surf lifesaver and finds time for endurance events, training and running in the Coast to Coast one-day race last year, completing it in 15 hours and 30 minutes. He’s also done the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker with friends.

A highlight of his career was assisting in Kaikoura from CANTERBURY following the earthquake in November 2016. “That was really rewarding, being with my best mates, and helping people.” He really enjoys ship life, he says. “For me, it’s the people. If I didn’t have the people around me every single day, I wouldn’t be here. I like being part of a great team. When the work gets hard, everyone pulls together, and makes fond memories of it. The engineers are a really close bunch. And there’s so many different people on board, from so many walks of life, and you respect each other and learn to live together.”

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Seamanship rounds out specialisations Two years ago, Aucklander Katie de Jong had completed a perfectly enjoyable science degree and was up against that age-old dilemma: where to from here? “I was struggling with what I wanted,” she says. “I loved what I was studying, but I was struggling to find a job that took my interest. I didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk.” She found herself some laboratory work while casting her net around, and a friend made a suggestion. “She had studied at Auckland University Technology, and she had seen the Navy around.” Navy officers undertake scholarship programmes at Auckland and

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Canterbury, and are in uniform as they do it. “It didn’t take much to convince me. Next day I was online, looking, and then in the recruiter’s office. I grew up around the ocean. My grandfather served on a minesweeper during the war, HMNZS GALE, and he came back with lots of stories.” She choose hydrography as her trade and joined the Navy at the start of 2019. “I studied earth sciences at university and it sounded like a good fit.” Navy hydrographic surveyors, or ‘droggies’ in Navy slang, learn their trade in HMNZS MATATAUA, the diving and hydrographic unit based at Devonport Naval Base. Their job is to create accurate seabed and coastline charts for navigational and military purposes. They help search for mines, underwater explosives, missing persons and sunken vessels, using detection and sonar devices such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. They are often the advance party of a mission, safety-proofing the approach to a beach or harbour.

Today, Able Hydrographics Systems Operator de Jong, 24, is posted to HMNZS CANTERBURY, and getting stuck into her seamanship skills rather than her specialisations. “There are ups and downs in any job, but I’m enjoying the ups way more than any other job I have had. People are going to think I’m nuts, but I really enjoyed being in the Sub-Antarctic Islands. They are not the most pretty of places, but you join the military, you go to some wild places.” In CANTERBURY, she works with the Seaman Combat Specialists, learning seamanship and boat handling. “That’s pretty cool. I work part of both ship’s watches, working on the bridge. Being in CANTERBURY, there’s a lot more exposure to the Navy fleet. You work with different people. It’s always been a welcoming crew, and good people to work with.”


Youth Development Trade in full swing y Charlene Williamson B Senior Communications Adviser

The establishment of the Youth Development Specialist (YDS) Trade has been a focus for Defence Reserves, Youth and Sport in 2020. The YDS Trade sees previous trades of Youth Development Instructor and Cadet Force Advisors combined to create an overarching trade for Youth Development.

“It is not a job that everyone can do. I have seen past trainees gain confidence and become better people because of the support and help they received through our LSV courses.

The YDS trade directly contributes to the New Zealand Cadet Forces, Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) programme, Youth Life Skills (Service Academies) and community support programmes such as Blue Light.

“Having the ability to help, guide and give advice to our youth who are in tough situations is the best part of being a YDS. Although we can’t help all trainees that attend the course, the ones who take on board our advice and show appreciation, to us, is the reward,” says LYDS Gilmartin-Kara.

Before joining YDU, Leading Youth Development Specialist Melissa Gilmartin-Kara was an Able Steward on board HMNZS TE MANA. She was interested in working alongside like-minded people who were passionate about helping the youth of New Zealand, as well as growing her own leadership skills.

LYDS Gilmartin-Kara says those that work in the YDS trade aren’t just instructors.

“ Having the ability to help, guide and give advice to our youth who are in tough situations is the best part of being a YDS.”

“We are not only teaching them, but we are constantly learning new approaches or skills through our trainees who educate us as well.” The Youth Development Units (North, Central and South) and Cadet Forces combined deliver a wide range of courses across the country to more than 6,000 youth per year.

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Navigating a Career Change What is it like to apply for a job outside of the Defence Force? Commander Andrew McMillan has been a Warfare Officer for 32 years. He’s had an interesting career that’s taken its own path, with roles such as Aide de Camp to the Governor General, Peacekeeping in Bosnia, Commanding Officer of the Operational Diving Team, Naval Advisor London and Director of the Institute for Leader Development. His thoughts had been turning towards life beyond the Navy – thoughts that were keeping him awake at night. Thoughts like: “We get so many valuable skills and wonderful experiences, at some point we need to capitalise on them while they remain current”. In his fourth leadership development role, it was his choice of work on his mind, not the process to get there. He figured he’d knock up a CV and would walk into an interview without too much effort. Today, Mr McMillan works for the Public Service Commission’s Fale, a team working to support the strengthening of 16 Pacific Island nations’ Public Service Commissions. He didn’t just “walk in” to the role. In fact, he had applied for three positions the previous year, and got nowhere.

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“I was a bit rattled,” he says. “I wasn’t even shortlisted. I thought, something had gone wrong.” He got the tip for the PSC job from the Chief People Officer, and he wanted to get this one right. He went to the NZDF Transition Team. Established in November 2019, the team provides Career Transition coaches to help Regular Force personnel navigate the move from military to civilian life. They offer workshops, webinars, transition seminars and one-to-one coaching for personalised planning and preparation. CDR McMillan went to his coach, Tania. She wasn’t impressed with his CV. She was even less impressed with his personal email address with a ‘69’ in it. “She told me the content was okay, but told me to imagine an overworked HR person, going through CVs, just looking for an excuse to put mine in the bin. She told me to get a professional email address, and that we needed to get my current role onto the first page.” With a revamped CV, CDR McMillan found himself shortlisted. They wanted to interview him. “I had to run back to Tania for coaching on interview techniques. I hadn’t been on that side of the table since I was 19 at the Officer Selection Board. I’m used to being on the side asking the questions. So, she instructed me on the Situation, Task, Action, Result technique and grilled me with practice questions, and I sought other colleagues’ advice on how to approach interviews.”

He says he really enjoyed the interview. “I felt really well prepared for the questions asked.” He was asked back, and told he was the preferred candidate. “Once I accepted, they wanted to talk salary. I wasn’t ready for that, I had to run back to Tania to find out how to do salary negotiation!” The separation from a Navy world of 32 years is not easy, he says. “Even by lunchtime on the first day of the job, I was feeling separation anxiety. You don’t understand, I suppose, how much those 32 years shape you, mould you, grow you, support you. It’s not to be underestimated. I’m in the Reserves which keeps some connection. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like, not to be able to go back onto the naval base. That cut-off from something that’s been such a large part of my life would be quite bizarre.” In Defence, he ran teams for years. “I had thought, wouldn’t be great not to have to manage people for once, not having that constant load. But as soon as I lost my team, I thought, who am I? I’m not CDR McMillan anymore. Being in leader development I used one of our models, the SCARF model, to analyse myself. The S is for status and it’s been interesting to understand how we measure our status in life, I realise that, for me, leading a team is part of that. So is uniform, rank, even just being able to say you’re a part of the Navy whānau, that’s the C for connection.”


What helps is joining a wonderful team, he says. “They’re wonderful people, amazingly supportive, and made me feel extremely welcome. If you’re going to join a new team, make it a Pasifika one! My new boss said, think about it this way. You are bringing your 32 years with you, not leaving it behind. We’re going to use that 32 years to amazing effect. That’s a cool way of looking at it, of what you have to offer outside of Defence and by bringing it with you.” He says he’s sure there are other people like him in Defence. “A lot have come and asked me about my experience. I tell them, having a conversation with the Transition people is a good first step to take. Engaging with them doesn’t mean you’re leaving the Navy, you’re just having a conversation. It’s way more important to start early, rather than finding out you’ve left it too late.”

Think about who you can and want to be, he says, and look at your experiences and skills. “The civilian world might see me as a military officer, but I’ve reborn myself as a leadership development and HR professional and it was reasonably easy because that was a lot of what I did most recently. Sure, you can’t suddenly become a specialist like a lawyer, but what if you want to be? It might be a four or five-year journey, so you need to start on that journey early. Understanding all of what you do in Defence and finding out what that might be called in the civilian world is important. If you do it properly you might find out that you have more options than you thought. “The old saying is; everyone has to leave at some point. When you do it’s much more comfortable having an understanding of who you are, what you can be and what transition is all about.”

“ A lot have come and asked me about my experience. I tell them, having a conversation with the Transition people is a good first step to take.” Transition coaches are available in all NZDF locations and can be accessed by Regular Force personnel at any point in their career and for up to 12 months after they leave the Regular Force. Their support is confidential. To be put in touch with your local coach, email

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Open forum for women recruits

Ordinary Marine Technician Grace Kelly always knew she wanted to be in the Navy, but when she applied, she had next to no idea what it is actually like to be in the service. Last month she helped host a trial ‘Navy Wahine webinar’ series, targeted at women in the recruitment process who wanted to ask questions about what training involves and what life is like for women in the Navy. Together with Lieutenant Jess Shaw and Defence Recruiting’s Petty Officer Hydrographic Survey Technician Katrina Mohi, the once-a-week webinars allowed potential recruits to type in questions. The Navy hopefuls could see the staff on screen, while the staff could only see the questions.

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Ordinary Chef Matariki Wairau joined the group in the latter stages to help with questions on hospitality trades. OMT Kelly, 19, from Cambridge, joined the Navy last year. “I wanted to serve my country, I didn’t like planes and Army looked pretty hard core. I’ve grown up around boats all my life.” She loved Basic Common Training. “It was the best part of my career so far. Even when orders were being barked at us, it was such fun. I got to meet great people, did cool things, and I was the fittest I had ever been when I came out.” She got involved in the webinars during her branch training, after expressions of interest went out. She emailed LT Shaw and said she was keen. “Why did I want to do this? Because I wished I had had it for me. I had no idea what was coming. People can be nervous about asking questions, so this is an open platform for women to ask anything they want.” The webinars ran every Monday, up to 45 minutes. OMT Kelly handled the Basic Common Training questions and queries about the technical trades.

“We got heaps of different questions. ‘What’s it like being a female during basic training? Have you got any tips? Are you treated any differently?’” She really enjoyed doing the webinars, an easy role as she loves what she does in the Navy. “If I can help one person, that’s one more female in the Navy. Women think about a lot of different things compared to men, but we’ve had no surprises – the questions are the sort of thing I would have asked if this had been around when I joined.” LT Shaw designed the initiative as a wahine-only, interactive setting with serving women, without the pressure of a formal recruiting environment. “With the widespread transition to digital services, building relationships with women before they enter the service has suddenly become incredibly achievable. Pending the success of this initiative, I hope it will become a sustainable, low-resource engagement tool which Navy may choose to use in years to come.”


Former ports worker takes to the sky As a stevedore at the Ports of Auckland, Michael Fraser dreamed of flying.

“Whether it be in border protection, search and rescue or helping after a major catastrophe like the Whakaari/White Island eruption or the Christchurch earthquakes.”

Now those dreams have come true after graduating as a Navy Helicopter Loadmaster at RNZAF Base Ohakea last month following 11 months’ training, including flying aboard A109 light utility helicopters.

“During mountain flying in the South Island we got to see some pretty cool scenery and I enjoyed the night flying phase of training. Looking through night-vision goggles reduces your vision quite a bit so you’re working very hard.”

He will now move on to the Seasprite Aircraft Conversion Course and then the Operational Conversion Course. As part of No. 6 Squadron, Ordinary Helicopter Loadmaster Fraser’s role will include winching, photography, load lifting, in-flight refuelling and operating the Mag 58 machine gun. The 25-year-old former Westlake Boys’ High School student can’t wait. “I have always wanted to fly and the Navy gave me the opportunity. The loadmaster role is an exciting one where I will get to help a lot of people and see some amazing sights,” he says. “Being part of the New Zealand Defence Force means that I have a career that I am proud of and that really makes a difference in helping and protecting our country.

Two key moments of his training have stood out so far, he says.

But it’s not all work and no play. As a keen hockey player OHLM Fraser has already represented the Navy in New Zealand Defence Force tournaments and he is extremely happy he can balance his love of sport with his dream career. “I can make a difference and I love that every day is different, from training to real life situations. “I have already made some lifelong friends and I am only at the start of my career. If people are thinking about a career that gives them options for travel, sports, further education or just want to make a difference in the world then they should look at all the different opportunities that are in Defence.”

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Name change for Hamilton Cadets The Sea Cadet Unit TS (Training Ship) RANGIRIRI in Hamilton will now be known as TS WAIKATO.

The unit needed a name more representative of the community, iwi and geographic area, he says. “The obvious name was Training Ship WAIKATO. It is a name with which all people of our local environs identify and have a strong sense of connection to.”

Acting Lieutenant Commander Greg Dyer, the Cadet Unit Commander, says the unit submitted a proposal a year ago for the name change. The unit’s original name is after a 19th century paddle steamer gunboat that was originally built to assist in fighting in Waikato during the New Zealand Land Wars. It saw no action and was modified as a passenger ferry, plying her trade on the Waikato River.

In his proposal, A/CFLTCDR Dyer argued that RANGIRIRI represented a military vessel intended for action against Māori during the Land Wars. His cadet membership included Māori and it had to be questioned whether the unit was best represented by the name RANGIRIRI.

A/CFLTCDR Dyer made the point that there was no discernible connection between RANGIRIRI and the Navy. “The name Rangiriri also refers to a small rural settlement 45 minutes north of Hamilton. This has often created confusion with local residents who believe our unit is situated out of town, thus hampering our ability to attract youth to the unit.”

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HMNZS WAIKATO (F55) was a Leander-class frigate of over 30 years’ service, between 1966 and 1998.

“In Hamilton itself the City Council and Kingitanga have signed an accord to review all place names, sites and references of cultural offence with a view to renaming said places in a more culturally sensitive and appropriate way. “While HMNZS WAIKATO has been decommissioned for some years now, her history and service to New Zealand is much more reflective of our modern Navy and the role that the Navy and armed forces in general play on the world stage. The name fits nicely with our New Zealand Cadet Forces mission, vision and values.”

It means TS WAIKATO has the most ‘modern’ ship’s name of all 17 sea cadet units. It was relaunched on 11 October with Hamilton City mayor Paula Southgate attending. The ceremony included the retiring of the TS RANGIRIRI life ring and the unveiling of the new TS WAIKATO ring, and the issuing of new cap tallies to the Navy Cadets.

Sea Cadet units are generally named after former Royal New Zealand Navy ships or former Navy ships connected with New Zealand, but there are exceptions. TS TALISMAN in Nelson is named for a local coastal scow. TS GODLEY is named after a pioneer founder of Christchurch. TS NIMROD is named after the ship Shackleton used for an Antarctic expedition. TS AHURIRI, created in September this year, is from the Māori name for Napier.


Coromandel’s Navy links y Mr Reece Golding, MNZM, B MSM, WOSCS (RTD)

In September, personnel from HMNZS NGAPONA sub unit Tauranga, took part in a historic navalrelated community engagement – the commemoration of HMS COROMANDEL’s visit to the ColvilleCoromandel area in 1820. The purpose of the visit was to harvest kauri logs for the Royal Navy because at the time, England was at war with France and Spain and combat damage was at its greatest. It was the harmonious relationships generated between COROMANDEL’s crew, local Māori iwi and European settlers during the ship’s year-long stay that were the catalyst in the town and peninsula being named after the ship. This year, Colville – Coromandel folk celebrated the event on Saturday 26 September (delayed from Queen's Birthday Weekend because of COVID restrictions) with a formal unveiling of a commemorative sculpture, followed by a range of activities preceding the main event, the Illume Festival. This involved a dynamic street march, with residents and visitors dressed up in costumes to replicate the sailors and loggers from the 1800s. NGAPONA Tauranga’s role was to provide a Flag Party for the formal ceremony which preceded all other

events. Local artist Rebekah Pearson was invited to say a few words after the Bicentenary Commemoration Unveiling, and her creation of a symbolic ship in a bottle was stunning. A local sewing group also fashioned an outstanding tapestry of sections of history, which was draped over the sculpture prior to the unveiling and thereafter on show for all to see. Lieutenant Commander Garth Mathieson, VRD, RNZNVR was guest speaker at the VIP luncheon, and part of a group who visited the Coromandel RSA to present a NGAPONA Crest and raise the New Zealand National Flag at the town’s memorial, accompanied by RSA members, mainly Vietnam veterans. At the end of 1820, COROMANDEL departed New Zealand with 107 kauri logs, to be used as spars as they were strong and straight. A restorative planting of 100 kauri occurred earlier this year at Albert Street Reserve, with NGAPONA personnel planting the remaining seven trees. Archdeacon / Chaplain Michael Berry assisted with officiating at this event. All personnel mustered at Whangarahi Reserves to lower the flags at Sunset, followed by supporting the Coromandel RSA in reading the Ode – for which their members were extremely grateful – before falling in and leading the Illume Festival street march. It was a night of iridescent lights and shapes with shops and local business also participating. The feedback received was extremely encouraging, and in this COVID period where there have been restrictions placed on community engagements, the opportunity to feature Navy in the Coromandel community was very positive for our small sub unit, while also reflecting well on the wider RNZN. Of note is that my contribution as a veteran Warrant Officer in uniform is now complete.

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Launch of the Navy Journal The Royal New Zealand Navy has joined the ranks of Services publishing critical-thinking academic papers with the launch of the Professional Journal of the Royal New Zealand Navy this month. Dr Lance Beath, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University, and the RNZN Nelsonian Scholar, is the General Editor of the publication, intended to be biennial. The journal will be a vehicle for publishing Navy staff essays and research papers, naval and maritime articles from guest writers – including Dr Beath and former Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin, and critical book reviews. Dr Beath, who co-edited the New Zealand Defence Force Maritime Doctrine in 2018, says the Navy was looking for a place to publish the “accumulated wisdom” generated by officers in the course of their postgraduate studies in New Zealand and overseas.

“The immediate catalyst, I’m told, was an essay written by an officer while at US Naval War College in the States. The Americans thought it was great stuff, and thought that it should be published.” This idea lodged in the minds of senior Naval leadership, he says. “The Air Force and Army had journals and the Navy didn’t. There was an obvious gap that needed filling. And that’s what’s emerged as the Journal.” He says it’s going to be a good companion publication to the monthly Navy Today. “Navy Today has personal stories, operations, exercises, history. The Journal provides a strategic and policy dimension to New Zealand naval and maritime thinking. It draws on and extends the best thinking available in New Zealand and it will also draw on international thinking in the naval and maritime space.” Examples of “deep thinking” in the first edition include an article discussing the implications for civil and military capability arising from New Zealand’s increasingly

Professional Journal of the

ROYAL NEW ZEALAND N AV Y Te Taua Moana O Aotearoa

Volume One Number One October 2020

contested “maritime periphery”, an article backgrounding the shift in the epicentre of potential conflict from land-based warfare in Europe to maritime conflict in the Asia Pacific, a discussion of what affordability and value means in the defence context and an article that opens up a discussion of defence policy under the heading ‘Towards a New Unifying Military Concept for New Zealand’. The Journal also discusses the Navy’s approach to the current round of strategic reviews and, in a special feature article, it backgrounds a range of important design considerations for the next fleet. “There are really interesting articles in this journal,” he says. “We are positioning ourselves as active commentators in the maritime and naval strategic policy space. The Journal is an avenue for the writing of officers attending staff colleges, but there are also other topics that will appeal to a wide audience beyond the Navy.”

The RNZN Journal is expected to be out this month. In our next issue and on social media we’ll advise where it can be viewed.

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Part 3

Honorary Captains In our ongoing series in Navy Today on our Honorary Captains, we introduce Shelley Campbell (Ngati Hine), CEO Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Division Cancer Society of New Zealand Inc. I received my honour in 2015 from Rear Admiral Jack Steer alongside former Waitakere Mayor, Sir Bob Harvey. At the time, I was the Chief Executive of the Sir Peter Blake Trust and I suspect it was a surprise to some, as I didn’t really ‘fit the mould’ of previous Honorary Captains. Perhaps it was about the journey the Navy had embarked on, to reflect our people and country and utilise the leadership talent of all. At the time I was mentoring young sailors, speaking at RNZN dinners and events and supporting the work of the RNZN Women’s Steering Group. I was Master of Ceremonies at several events and we used to laugh that this was largely because we couldn’t afford to pay an MC and I was free!

There have been many highlights working alongside friends and colleagues in the Navy. There were the Young Blake Expeditions to the Kermadec Islands and the Sub Antarctic Islands, and the Youth Enviro leaders forum, which one year included a mock kidnapping at Whangaparāoa training base, making the Seven Sharp News with Mike Hosking. Perhaps I'm most proud of the RNZN leaders stepping up for the NZ dream team as we went into schools to inspire Kiwi kids to dare to dream. My life in the last three years has been very different since I left Auckland. I continue to serve NZ Inc. and my communities in different ways as the Chief Executive of cancer services for over 700,000 people in the middle of the North Island.

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Even though COVID-19 brought significant disruptions to our regular sports seasons, rugby in the Navy continued to thrive. Several RNZN women played representative level rugby for North Harbour in the Farah Palmer Cup. The Royal New Zealand Navy Rugby Football Club (RNZN RFC) had their most successful season in over a decade. The Navy held its first Inter-Branch rugby match. Still to come, the NZDF men’s and women’s rugby teams, featuring several RNZN personnel, will play this month against the NZ Police. With the success of rugby in the Navy in 2020, 2021 is shaping up to be a great year.

RNZN women in North Harbour representative team Women’s rugby in North Harbour is growing. In 2020 North Harbour entered multiple women’s teams into the Auckland Rugby women’s competition. The aim is to develop the women’s game in North Harbour to a point where they can host their own competition. Several RNZN women had standout seasons with their teams, being selected for the North Harbour representative side which competes in the Farah Palmer Cup national competition. Congratulations to Ensign Kate Williams (pictured left, also named as Captain of the North Harbour team), Able Chef Caroline Sio, Able Chef Tamea Te Rauna, Able Logistics Supply Specialist Anita Berry, Able Combat System Specialist Phoenix Littin and Clementine Varea for your representative selections.

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Doggies make the semis! 2020 saw a year of growth and success for the RNZN RFC. The club’s Premier 2 ‘Doggies’ made it to the semi-finals, an achievement which the club has not experienced for several years. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the season was cancelled before the team was able to compete for a championship trophy. The team will be looking to achieve the same result next year, but go even further to bring a championship title home for the Navy. The RNZN RFC also awarded blazers to two players for the first time in decades. Receiving a blazer from your club is the ultimate achievement for a senior rugby player. This is an achievement which recognises long term commitment to the club and identifies you as a leader within the team. Congratulations to Petty Officer Weapon Technician Jordancooper Peters and Ordinary Diver Dylan Macdonald (above) for your achievements.


AUGUST Another Inter-Branch tournament will be held to see if the Technical Branch can maintain their dominance. This match will also be a trial to select the men’s and women’s Inter-Service teams. SEPTEMBER The Inter-Service tournament is to be held at Devonport Naval base. For both the men and women, this tournament is an opportunity to be selected for NZDF representation, which generally involves international travel, and is the pinnacle for most NZDF sports players.

RNZN Rugby POINT OF CONTACT The RNZN RFC would like to thank all our supporters, and our sponsors, Wulf Athletic and Belmont Bar. This season was dedicated to our fallen brother Baz Waerea, “never above, never below, always beside, my bro”.

Inter-Branch rugby This year introduced the first battle of the branches rugby tournament. Held in August, the match was also used as a trial to select the Navy Premier men’s side to compete in the Inter-Service tournament. The Technical Branch, Support Branch, and Operations Branch each fielded a team, in the game of three halves. Some real Branch pride was displayed, and there were even a couple of Warrant Officers who suited up to go to battle with their teams. A good crowd was in attendance to cheer on their teams.

In the end, the Technical Branch, who were always hot favourites, dominated their two halves and came out victorious. However, sports, culture, fitness, and esprit de corps were the real winners on the day. The Technical Branch looks forward to defending their title in 2021.

What’s coming up in 2021? JANUARY

If you are interested in being involved in coaching, management, or playing rugby feel free to reach out to any of the personnel listed below. MENS’ RUGBY WO Stevie Winikerei LMT Damian Mitai ASCS Dave Nicol WOMENS’ RUGBY CPO Chippa Chase POCH Tyson Job

The RNZN RFC Doggies will begin pre-season training early in 2021. There will be at least two pre-season games in March, one of which will be a contest for the Baz Waerea Memorial Trophy against Te Awamutu Sports, held at Ngataringa. After reclaiming this trophy, the Doggies will set their mind to making the finals of the North Harbour Rugby Premier 2 championship.

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Changes for Veterans Thanks to changes to the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, Veterans’ Affairs can offer more flexible support to veterans and their whānau. The changes address a number of recommendations included in the 2018 Paterson Report. Support for veterans Previously veterans lost eligibility for support if their injury or illness resulted from criminal behaviour or substance abuse. Now, where there is evidence of a link between service-related trauma and criminal or self-destructive behaviours, such as a veteran injuring themselves during a mental health episode triggered by post-traumatic stress, Veterans’ Affairs can recognise that in decisionmaking. This applies to injuries, illness, or death which occurred when a veteran was committing a minor offence while enlisted or after they have left service.

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Veterans with urgent mental health needs can receive support funded by Veterans’ Affairs before their eligibility for coverage has been established. Treatment and rehabilitation services already underway can continue to be provided to veterans if they are imprisoned. Support for families Counselling can now be funded for veterans’ whānau, support people, and caregivers where it will support the veteran’s wellbeing. The definition of a child of a veteran has been extended to include all circumstances in which a veteran becomes a guardian of or acts as a parent to a child. This includes whāngai, grandchildren, children of former spouses and partners, and any child that a veteran has acted as a parent towards. Any entitlements, such as the Children’s Pension, received by a veteran’s whānau will not be affected if a veteran is imprisoned. The Children’s Bursary, which is available to the children of veterans who served before 1974 or in Vietnam, has been extended to cover those who live overseas. It now also covers a wider range of education and vocational training. The five-year restriction on child care assistance has also been removed and funding for child care can now continue until the child reaches the age of 14.

End of life support It is now easier for surviving spouses or partners to access pensions and be reimbursed for funeral expenses when a veteran dies as they only need to show that the veteran had Qualifying Operational Service. Veterans’ Independence Programme services can now continue for the spouse or partner of a veteran for 12 months after a veteran goes into long-term residential care. A standard grace period of 28 days following the death of a veteran now applies to all pensions to minimise the chances of their whānau going into debt. To find out more and to check your eligibility, visit the Veterans’ Affairs website


RNZN ARTIFICER APPRENTICES ASSOCIATION REUNION LUNCHEON 2021 The Biannual Luncheon is being held at the RNZN Ngataringa Bay Sports Complex, Ngataringa Bay, Devonport. Auckland. New Zealand on Saturday 29 May 2021 from 1030 to 1500. All those who joined the RNZN as an Artificer Apprentice are cordially invited to the Luncheon. Wives, Partners and Widows of Ex-Artificer Apprentices are most welcome to attend. We also extend an invitation to those who joined the RN as an Artificer Apprentice.

Navy Museum Online Store Launched The National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy now has an online store selling a selected range of items. You can visit the store at

Summer Reserve Intern Scheme Each year Defence Reserves, Youth and Sports (DRYS) organises and funds the Summer Reserve Intern Scheme during the period November to February. The internship is an opportunity for junior members of the Reserve Forces to use the skills and experience that they have gained through their tertiary studies to support projects and initiatives within the NZDF. This year there is a mixture of young Reservists from the RNZN and NZ

Army who are tertiary students enrolled with the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University, University of Canterbury and Auckland University. They will be supporting the NZDF in a variety of research and analytical roles across a broad range of fields. The internship will run from 15 November 2020 to 19 February 2021. Key to the success of the internship is the submission of Expressions of Interest by HQNZDF Branches and Units who are willing to host and mentor an intern in their area of speciality.

For registration forms please contact: Andy Francis Email: Mobile: 027 474 0050

If you are interested in getting more information on the Reserve Intern Scheme please contact

CORRECTION: In our Navy Today October edition, page 28, we incorrectly named an Operation Grapple veteran. The person with photographer Denise Baynham is Neil Balloch, Nelson.

NEW ZEALAND SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES The next selection for the New Zealand Special Air Service is in February 2021 Nominations open from 16 October – 4 December 2020. For more information or to submit your application, visit the SOF intranet page (http://org/nzsof/LP/Recruiting.aspx) or email Navy Today #249  |  35