The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN; Maori: Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa, "Warriors of the Sea of New Zealand") is the maritime arm of the New Zealand Defence Force. The fleet currently consists of ten ships and eight naval helicopters.
|Royal New Zealand Navy|
Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa
|Founded||1 October 1941|
|Part of||New Zealand Defence Force|
|Garrison/HQ||Devonport Naval Base|
|Motto(s)||Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa, "Warriors of the Sea of New Zealand")|
|March||Quick — Heart of Oak Slow — E Pari Ra|
|Anniversaries||1 October 1941 (founded)|
|Engagements||World War II|
Cross border attacks in Sabah
Operation Enduring Freedom
|Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief||Dame Patsy Reddy|
|Chief of Defence Force||Air Marshal Kevin Short|
|Chief of Navy||Rear Admiral John Martin|
|Warrant officer of the Navy||WO Wayne Dyke|
|Reconnaissance||Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite|
The New Zealand Navy did not exist as a separate military force until 1941. The association of the Royal Navy with New Zealand began with the arrival of Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook in 1769, who completed two subsequent journeys to New Zealand in 1773 and 1777. Occasional visits by Royal Navy ships were made from the late 18th century until the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. William Hobson, a crucial player in the drafting of the treaty, was in New Zealand as a captain in the Royal Navy. The signing of the Treaty of Waitangi made New Zealand a colony in the British Empire, so the defence of the coastline became the responsibility of the Royal Navy. That role was fulfilled until World War I, and the Royal Navy also played a part in the New Zealand Wars: for example, a gunboat shelled fortified Māori pā from the Waikato River in order to defeat the Māori King Movement.
In 1909, the New Zealand government decided to fund the purchase of the battlecruiser HMS New Zealand for the Royal Navy, which saw action throughout World War I in Europe. The passing of the Naval Defence Act 1913 created the New Zealand Naval Forces, still as a part of the Royal Navy. The first purchase by the New Zealand government for the New Zealand Naval Forces was the cruiser HMS Philomel, which escorted New Zealand land forces to occupy the German colony of Samoa in 1914. Philomel saw further action under the command of the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf. By 1917, she was worn out and dispatched back to New Zealand where she served as a depot ship in Wellington Harbour for minesweepers. In 1921 she was transferred to Auckland for use as a training ship.
From 1921 to 1941 the force was known as the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. The cruiser Chatham along with the sloop Veronica arrived in 1920, Philomel was transferred to the Division in 1921, as was the sloop Torch, HMS Laburnum arrived in 1922 and then HMS Dunedin in 1924. HMS Diomede and the minesweeper HMS Wakakura arrived in 1926. Between World War I and World War II, the New Zealand Division operated a total of 14 ships, including the cruisers HMS Achilles (joined 31 March 1937) and HMS Leander, which replaced Diomede and Dunedin (replaced by Leander in 1937).
From 1919–21 to October 1940, the Royal Navy formation around New Zealand was the New Zealand Station, sometimes rendered New Zealand Squadron.
When Britain went to war against Germany in 1939, New Zealand officially declared war at the same time, backdated to 9.30 pm on 3 September local time. But the gathering in Parliament in Carl Berendsen's room (including Peter Fraser) could not follow Chamberlain's words because of static on the shortwave and waited until the Admiralty notified the fleet that war had broken out before Cabinet approved the declaration of war (the official telegram from Britain was delayed and arrived just before midnight).
HMS Achilles participated in the first major naval battle of World War II, the Battle of the River Plate off the River Plate estuary between Argentina and Uruguay, in December 1939. Achilles and two other cruisers, HMS Ajax and HMS Exeter, severely damaged the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. The German Captain Hans Langsdorff then scuttled Graf Spee rather than face the loss of many more German seamen's lives. This decision apparently infuriated Hitler.
Achilles moved to the Pacific, and was working with the United States Navy (USN) when damaged by a Japanese bomb off New Georgia. Following repair, she served alongside the British Pacific Fleet until the war's end.
The New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy became the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) from 1 October 1941, in recognition of the fact that the naval force was now largely self-sufficient and independent of the Royal Navy. The Prime Minister Peter Fraser reluctantly agreed, though saying "now was not the time to break away from the old country". Ships thereafter were prefixed HMNZS (His/Her Majesty's New Zealand Ship).
HMNZS Leander escorted the New Zealand Expeditionary Force to the Middle East in 1940 and was then deployed in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Leander was subjected to air and naval attack from Axis forces, conducted bombardments, and escorted convoys. In February 1941, Leander sank the Italian auxiliary cruiser Ramb I in the Indian Ocean. In 1943, after serving further time in the Mediterranean, Leander returned to the Pacific Ocean. She assisted in the destruction of the Japanese cruiser Jintsu and being seriously damaged by torpedoes during the Battle of Kolombangara. The extent of the damage to Leander saw her docked for repairs until the end of the war.
As the war progressed, the size of the RNZN greatly increased, and by the end of the war, there were over 60 ships in commission. These ships participated as part of the British and Commonwealth effort against the Axis in Europe, and against the Japanese in the Pacific. They also played an important role in the defence of New Zealand, from German raiders, especially when the threat of invasion from Japan appeared imminent in 1942. Many merchant ships were requisitioned and armed for help in defence. One of these was HMNZS Monowai, which saw action against the Japanese submarine I-20 off Fiji in 1942. In 1941–1942, it was decided in an agreement between the New Zealand and United States governments that the best role for the RNZN in the Pacific was as part of the United States Navy, so operational control of the RNZN was transferred to the South West Pacific Area command, and its ships joined United States 7th Fleet taskforces.
In 1943, the light cruiser HMS Gambia was transferred to the RNZN as HMNZS Gambia. In November 1944, the British Pacific Fleet, a joint British Commonwealth military formation, was formed, based in Sydney, Australia. Most RNZN ships were transferred to the BPF, including Gambia and Achilles. They took part in the Battle of Okinawa and operations in the Sakishima Islands, near Japan. In August 1945, HMNZS Gambia was New Zealand's representative at the surrender of Japan.
During April 1947 a series of non-violent mutinies occurred amongst the sailors and non-commissioned officers of four RNZN ships and two shore bases. Overall, up to 20% of the sailors in the RNZN were involved in the mutinies. The resulting manpower shortage forced the RNZN to remove the light cruiser Black Prince, one of their most powerful warships, from service, and set the navy's development and expansion back by a decade. Despite this impact, the size and scope of the events have been downplayed over time.
RNZN ships participated in the Korean War. On 29 June, just four days after 135,000 North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel in Korea, the New Zealand government ordered two Loch-class frigates – Tutira and Pukaki to prepare to make for Korean waters, and for the whole of the war, at least two NZ vessels would be on station in the theater.
On 3 July, these two first ships left Devonport Naval Base, Auckland and joined other Commonwealth forces at Sasebo, Japan, on 2 August. These vessels served under the command of a British flag officer (seemingly Flag Officer Second in Command Far East Fleet) and formed part of the US Navy screening force during the Battle of Inchon, performing shore raids and inland bombardment. Further RNZN Loch-class frigates joined these later – Rotoiti, Hawea, Taupo and Kaniere, as well as a number of smaller craft. Only one RNZN sailor was killed during the conflict – during the Inchon bombardments.
The Navy later participated in the Malayan Emergency, and the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. The Confrontation was the RNZN's last large-scale operation with the Royal Navy. In a security crisis and threat to Malaysia and Sarawak and Brunei, two thirds of the Royal Navy's operational warships were deployed from 1963 to the end of 1966 with Royalist, Taranaki, and Otago, heavily involved in boarding ships, shore patrols, presence, maintaining the use of seaways and support of the RN's amphibious carriers. In the past three decades, the RNZN has operated in the Middle East a number of times. RNZN ships played a role in the Iran–Iraq War, aiding the Royal Navy in protecting neutral shipping in the Indian Ocean. Frigates were also sent to participate in the first Gulf War, and more recently Operation Enduring Freedom. The RNZN has played an important part in conflicts in the Pacific as well. Naval forces were utilised in the Bougainville, Solomon Islands and East Timor conflicts of the 1990s. The RNZN often participates in United Nations peacekeeping operations. The Navy's operational authority was the Commodore, Auckland, from 1 January 1961 which changed to the Maritime Commander in March 1993. Among the Commodores Auckland was Commodore J O'C Ross, who later wrote The White Ensign in New Zealand, and later Rear Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff John McKenzie.
The RNZN has played a much broader role than just conflict-related activities. Since 1946, it has policed New Zealand's territorial waters and exclusive economic zone for fisheries protection. It also aids New Zealand's deployment in Antarctica, at Scott Base.
One of the best-known roles that the RNZN played on the world stage was when the frigates Canterbury and Otago were sent by the Labour Government of Norman Kirk to Moruroa Atoll in 1973 to protest against French nuclear testing there. The frigates were sent into the potential blast zone of the weapons, where both ships witnessed one airburst test each which forced France to then change to underground testing.
In May 1982 Prime Minister Rob Muldoon seconded the frigate Canterbury to the Royal Navy for the duration of the Falklands War. Canterbury was deployed to the Armilla Patrol in the Persian Gulf, to relieve a British frigate for duty in the South Atlantic. Canterbury was herself relieved by Waikato in August.
Until the 1960s, the RNZN had, in common with other Dominion navies, flown the White Ensign as a common ensign. Post-war, the foreign policies of these independent states had become more distinctive and there was a wish and a need for separate identities, particularly if one Dominion was engaged in hostilities where another was not. Thus, in 1968, the RNZN adopted its own ensign, which retains the Union Flag in a top quarter but replaces the St George's Cross with the Southern Cross constellation that is displayed on the national flag.
The hydrographic survey ship of the RNZN until 2012 was HMNZS Resolution, succeeding the long-serving HMNZS Monowai. Resolution was used to survey and chart the sea around New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. A small motor boat, SMB Adventure, was operated from Resolution. Resolution carried some of the most advanced survey technology available. HMNZS Resolution was decommissioned at Devonport Naval Base on 27 April 2012.
The RNZN is currently in a transitional period where its role is being broadened into a navy that is more versatile than in the more recent past. Formerly combat-oriented and based on the frigate, a number of new ships have been incorporated into the fleet that have given the RNZN a much broader potential platform from which to work.
The Combat Force consists of two Anzac-class frigates: HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Te Mana. Both ships are based at the Devonport Naval Base on Auckland's North Shore. Te Kaha was commissioned on 26 July 1997 and Te Mana on 10 December 1999.
The Patrol Force consists of two Offshore Patrol (OPV) and four Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPV). The Patrol Force is responsible for policing New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone, one of the largest in the world. In addition, the Patrol Force provides assistance to a range of civilian government agencies, including the Department of Conservation, New Zealand Customs and Police, Ministry of Fisheries and others. The Patrol Force consists of:
HMNZS MATATAUA (MAT) structure is two operational groups the Military Hydrographic Group (Mil-HG) and the Clearance Diving Group (CDG), and one support group the Logistics Support Group. MAT is responsible for ensuring access to and the use of harbours, inshore waters and associated coastal zones. HMNZS MATATAUA combined the former Mine Counter Measures Team, Maritime Survey Team and the Operational Diving Team. HMNZS MATATAUA operates four REMUS 100 Autonomous underwater vehicles.
The Clearance Diving Group is responsible for clearance diving, including Maritime Explosive Ordnance Disposal (MEOD), beach reconnaissance in support of amphibious operations; underwater engineering and underwater search and recovery in support of the NZ Police. The CDG comprises 40 divers split into thee teams capable of operating three independent detachments. Clearance Diving Team 1 (CDT 1) is the Mine Counter Measures team responsible for mine and obstacle clearance in support of Amphibious Operations. CDT 2 is responsible for Sub-surface Operational Maintenance and Repair, salvage, search and recovery. CDT 3 is responsible for Maritime Explosive Ordnance Disposal support to the NZ Police and Expeditionary. To become a fully qualified diver involves completion of the 4 week Defence Diver course and the 24-week Able Diver course.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force operates eight Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters for use on the two frigates, the new multi-role vessel and two offshore patrol craft. These eight aircraft are part of No. 6 Squadron. The squadron is based at Whenuapai in Auckland, and helicopters are assigned to the ships as they are sent on deployments across the globe. The roles of the helicopters include:
The New Zealand Government defence white paper released in November 2010 called for an upgrade of the Anzac-class frigates and the replacement of HMNZS Endeavour (decommissioned in December 2017) with a more capable ship. The hydrographic ship, HMNZS Resolution (decommissioned in 2012) and HMNZS Manawanui are to be replaced with a single ship.
During these upgrades the navy suffered from a shortage of skilled staff and lacked the crew to operate an offshore patrol vessel. This is expected to improve as the NZDF's resources are directed to the South Pacific following the end of its commitments to Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands. A modest Joint Force Amphibious Capability is planned to be operational in 2015.
In 2016 the Ministry of Defense announced that $493 NZD million has been approved to replace Endeavour with a "maritime sustainment capability ship" built by the same yard as her predecessor, Hyundai Heavy Industries. The replacement, to be named HMNZS Aotearoa, will displace 24,000 tonnes and will be ice-strengthened.
In August 2018, it was announced that a new hydrographic and diving support vessel has been procured to replace the decommissioned HMNZS Resolution and HMNZS Manawanui. This vessel, the Norwegian built MV Edda Fonn, was purchased second-hand as a means of ensuring a faster entry into service than a new-build ship. Edda Fonn was operating under lease in the North Sea when procured, and is currently undergoing conversion for its new role in the RNZN. The converted ship will be named HMNZS Manawanui, and is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2019.
In its Statement of Intent, the NZDF states its primary mission as:
The intermediate outcomes of the NZDF are listed as:
The role of the navy is to fulfil the maritime elements of the missions of the NZDF.
The RNZN has a role to help prevent any unrest occurring in New Zealand. This can be done by having a presence in overseas waters and assisting redevelopment in troubled countries. For example, any unrest in the Pacific Islands has the potential to affect New Zealand because of the large Pacific Island population. The stability of the South Pacific is considered in the interest of New Zealand. The navy has participated in peace-keeping and peace-making in East Timor, Bougainville and the Solomon Islands, supporting land based operations.
The 2002 Maritime Forces Review identified a number of roles that other government agencies required the RNZN to undertake. Approximately 1,400 days at sea are required to fulfil these roles annually.
The RNZN formerly produced hydrographic information for Land Information New Zealand under a commercial contract arrangement, however with the decommissioning of the dedidcated Hydrographic survey ship HMNZS Resolution this has lapsed and the Navy now focuses on military hydrography.
Since 2001, both Anzac-class frigates have participated in the United States' Operation Enduring Freedom in the Persian Gulf and have conducted maritime patrol operations in support of American and allied efforts in Afghanistan.
On 21 June 2006 Te Mana was in South East Asia, and Te Kaha was in New Zealand waters, to be deployed to South East Asia in the second half of 2006.
On 30 June 2014 the RNZN consisted of 2,050 Regular Force personnel, 392 Naval Reserve personnel.
All regular force personnel on discharge from the RNZN are liable for service in the Royal New Zealand Navy Fleet Reserve. The Fleet reserve has an active and inactive list. RNZNVR personnel can choose to serve four years in the fleet reserve on discharge.
The RNZN has not published Fleet Reserve numbers since the early 1990s.
The primary reserve component of the RNZN is the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNZNVR), which is organised into four units based in Auckland (with a satellite unit at Tauranga), Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin:
At present civilians can join the RNZNVR in one of three branches: Administration, Sea Service (for service on IPVs), and Maritime Trade Organisation (formerly Naval Control of Shipping). In addition ex regular force personnel can now join the RNZNVR in their former branch, and depending on time out of the service, rank. The requirement to attend compulsory training one night a week has recently been removed.
Naval Ratings begin an 18-week basic training course (Basic Common Training) prior to commencing their branch training (Basic Branch Training) which focuses on their chosen trade.
Naval Officers complete 22 weeks of training in three phases before commencing specialist training.
The RNZN is funded through a "vote" of the Parliament of New Zealand. The New Zealand Defence Force funds personnel, operating and finance costs. Funding is then allocated to specific "Output Classes", which are aligned to policy objectives.
Funding allocation in each Output Class includes consumables, personnel, depreciation and a 'Capital Charge'. The Capital Charge is a budgetary mechanism to reflect the cost of Crown capital and was set at 7.5% for the 2009/2010 year.
The Ministry of Defence is responsible for the acquisition of significant items of military equipment needed to meet New Zealand Defence Force capability requirements. Funding for the Ministry of Defence is appropriated separately.
The Navy Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy is located at 64 King Edward Parade, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand  and contains important collections of naval artefacts, and extensive records.
Uniforms of the RNZN are very similar to those of the British Royal Navy and other Commonwealth of Nations navies. However, RNZN personnel wear the nationality marker "NEW ZEALAND" on a curved shoulder flash on the service uniform and embroidered on shoulder slip-ons. Also, the RNZN uses the rank of Ensign as its lowest commissioned rank.
|OF-10||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6||OF-5||OF-4||OF-3||OF-2||OF-1||OF(D) and student officer|
| New Zealand
|Admiral of the fleet||Vice admiral||Rear admiral||Commodore||Captain||Commander||Lieutenant commander||Lieutenant||Sub lieutenant||Ensign||Midshipman|
| New Zealand
|No equivalent||No equivalent||No equivalent|
|Warrant officer||Chief petty officer||Petty officer||Leading hand||Able rate||Ordinary rate|
Chief of Navy (CN) commands the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and is responsible to the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) for raising, training and sustaining those forces necessary to meet agreed government outputs. The CN acts as principal advisor to the CDF on Navy matters, and is the most senior appointment in the RNZN. The rank associated with the position is rear admiral, and CNs are generally appointed on a three-year term.The position was originally created as Chief of Naval Staff and First Naval Member upon the formation of the RNZN on 1 October 1941. The title changed to Chief of Naval Staff in 1970, and CN in 2003. Rear Admiral John Martin, the incumbent CN, assumed the post on 30 November 2015.Coastal Forces of the Royal New Zealand Navy
Coastal Forces was a division of the Royal Navy established during World War II. It consisted of small coastal defence craft such as motor launches, submarine chasers, air-sea rescue launches, motor gun boats and motor torpedo boats. It did not include minesweepers, naval trawlers or landing craft. This article is about the equivalent boats used in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).
From 1921 until 1941 the New Zealand Navy was a Division of the Royal Navy. The RNZN was not created until 1 October 1941. Within six months of its creation the RNZN commissioned twelve Class B Fairmiles and sixteen Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDMLs)Devonport Naval Base
Devonport Naval Base is the home of the Royal New Zealand Navy, located at Devonport, New Zealand on Auckland's North Shore. It is currently the only base of the navy that operates ships, and has been in use as a navy base since 1841. The base consists of HMNZS Philomel (the administration centre for the base), the Fleet Support Organisation, and the Fleet Personnel and Training Organisation.HMAS Inverell
HMAS Inverell, named for the town of Inverell, New South Wales, was one of 60 Bathurst-class corvettes constructed during World War II, and one of 36 initially manned and commissioned solely by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).After World War II, the corvette was transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), where she served from 1952 to 1976.HMNZS Achilles (70)
HMNZS Achilles was a Leander-class light cruiser which served with the Royal New Zealand Navy in the Second World War, the second of five in the class. Originally constructed by the Royal Navy, she was loaned to New Zealand in 1936 before formally joining the new Royal New Zealand Navy in 1941. She became famous for her part in the Battle of the River Plate, alongside HMS Ajax and HMS Exeter and notable for being the first Royal Navy cruiser to have fire control radar, with the installation of the New Zealand-made SS1 fire-control radar in June 1940.After Second World War service in the Atlantic and Pacific, she was returned to the Royal Navy. She was sold to the Indian Navy in 1948 and recommissioned as INS Delhi. She was scrapped in 1978.HMNZS Arabis (K385)
HMNZS Arabis was a modified Flower-class corvette of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). Built for the Royal Navy as HMS Arabis, she was transferred to the RNZN on completion. She was commissioned in 1944 and decommissioned in 1948.
After a refit, Arabis sailed for the Solomons, arriving at Renard Sound on 14 December 1944 where her captain took over as senior officer, 25th Minesweeper Flotilla, from Matai. She returned to Auckland on 20 June 1945. Two voyages to Nouméa followed in July 1945 to escort with Tui the twelve RNZN Fairmiles back home to Auckland.HMNZS Arbutus (K403)
HMNZS Arbutus was a modified Flower-class corvette of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). Built for the Royal Navy as HMS Arbutus, the corvette was transferred to the RNZN on completion in 1944, and operated during the final years of World War II. In April 1947, Arbutus was one of the units involved in a mutiny over poor pay and working conditions. She was decommissioned in 1948 and broken up for scrap in 1951.HMNZS Leander
HMNZS Leander was a light cruiser which served with the Royal New Zealand Navy during World War II. She was the lead ship of a class of eight ships, the Leander-class light cruiser and was initially named HMS Leander.HMNZS Moa (T233)
HMNZS Moa (T233) was a Bird class minesweeper of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) that served during World War II.HMNZS Wellington (F69)
HMNZS Wellington was a Leander class frigate of the Royal Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). Originally commissioned in 1969 for the Royal Navy as HMS Bacchante, she joined the RNZN in 1982. She was decommissioned in 1999 and sunk in 2005.History of the Royal New Zealand Navy
The history of the Royal New Zealand Navy leads back to early New Zealand-based gunboats used in controlling the British interests in the new colony, as well as to the strong linkages to the British Navy itself.List of active Royal New Zealand Navy ships
This is a list of current Royal New Zealand Navy ships. The affiliations (and home ports) are ceremonial only, with the navy operationally stationed at the Devonport Naval Base, Auckland. The Navy operates 9 commissioned ships and a number of non commissioned vessels.List of ships of the Royal New Zealand Navy
Sortable list of commissioned vessels of the Royal New Zealand Navy from its formation on 1 October 1941 to the present. It does not include vessels of the New Zealand Division (1921–1941) or New Zealand Naval Forces (1913–21) or earlier vessels up to 1913.Minesweepers of the Royal New Zealand Navy
Commissioned minesweepers and danlayers of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) from its formation on 1 October 1941 to the present. The RNZN was created two years into World War II. For coherence this article covers the war years from the start, and thus includes also the New Zealand minesweepers operating from the beginning of the war.New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy
The New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy also known as the New Zealand Station was formed in 1921 and remained in existence until 1941. It was the precursor to the Royal New Zealand Navy. Originally, the British Royal Navy was solely responsible for the naval security of New Zealand. The passing of the Naval Defence Act 1913 created the New Zealand Naval Forces as a separate division within the Royal Navy.Patrol boats of the Royal New Zealand Navy
Commissioned patrol boats of the Royal New Zealand Navy after World War II to the present.Philip Connolly
Philip George Connolly (14 November 1899 – 13 February 1970) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party.Torpedo Bay Navy Museum
The Torpedo Bay Navy Museum is the official museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy. It opened in 2010, to replace an earlier naval museum. The museum is in Devonport, Auckland.
New Zealand public service departments
Part of the Public sector organisations in New Zealand