Jack Passings – March 2019

The following Sailors ‘Crossed the Bar’ during the month of March 2019. Details of funerals etc can be found by clicking HERE.

POOLE, Edward Charles (Ted)
GRAY Alister Derek Able Seaman
FALLOW John Charles Lieutenant RNZNVR
GILBERTSON, Gordon Bruce Seaman
WILKINSON George Francis Seaman
STRATFORD, Murray Neil Petty Officer Stoker
MILLAR Gary Lynn Lieutenant

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Greetings from the desk of the Affiliates Representative on the President’s Forum which was attended by Dennis Mardle – Affiliate Representative to the Presidents Forum

Last week was a two-day meeting of the Forum and there were quite a few interesting issues and discussions.

The meeting started with an address and Q+A session with WODF Mark (Titch) Mortiboy who updated us on his role and direction of NZDF. Quite an insight into the goings on of our former employer.

There was also an address by Bernadine McKenzie which was fairly wide-ranging and covered a number of topics. Of interest was the proposed date, sometime in May, for a Health Expo, similar to the one recently run by VANZ in Christchurch, to be run in Auckland. I can only say, having been on the ground at the Christchurch Expo, if you get the opportunity get along and take advantage of the one on one with case managers and involve yourself with the multitude of suppliers and help available. Well worth the effort.

Bernadine also covered topics to do with the addition of Paul Nealis as an assist in reviewing some of the processes. I understand Paul used to be the NZDF Chief Health Officer. His aim is to streamline the service delivery and includes working with the PHOs and DHBs.

Transparency was an issue that was covered in a review and Bernadine is working to make the internal workings of VANZ more transparent. I would expect to see more of this on their website in the future.

Bernadine also covered the Paterson report and the fact that VANZ is working through the recommendations made in that report. Some of the work had to do with simplifying letters to Veterans, making the Website more accessible. Currently, there are 3,600 active Veterans receiving assistance from VANZ, this is an increase of some 300 in recent times. The numbers of people gaining benefit from the V.I.P programme has also increased. If you or any of your association members need assistance around the home, from washing windows, mowing lawns etc, get them in touch with VANZ.

There was a couple of significant briefs by the Support Services group at RNZRSA. They are working through the process of recommending significant changes that more or less formalise what has been happening on an ad-hoc basis. There will be more to follow on this as things unfold.

Generally, there was a good discussion on a number of issues and as part of the formal meeting we welcomed two new affiliates, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen’s Association of New Zealand, look them up on their website, SSAANZ, http://www.ssaanz.co.nz. Also welcomed into the affiliates was the RNZN Communicators Association. A big welcome to you both and if there is any way we can assist you in meeting your aims please let me know.

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Ngapona Newsletter

23 March 19 – Kumeu Militaria Show
6 April 19 – HMNZS Otago Reunion, Birkenhead RSA. Including All Ships. See http://www.hmnzsotago.org
18 April 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Henderson RSA (Thursday)
19 – 22 April 19 – Easter Weekend
25 April 19 – ANZAC Day
3-5 May 19 – Radar Plotters’ Reunion, Taupo. Contact Graeme Pearce pearcegc@xtra.co.nz
10 May 19 – Navy Club Lunch, Remuera Club
17 May 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Pt Chevalier RSA
25 May 19 – Artificer Apprentices Assn, Ngataringa sports Complex. Contact Andy Francis andy.francis@xtra.co.nz
1-3 June 19 – Queen’s Birthday Weekend
1-3 June 19 – RNZN Antarctic Veterans Reunion, Rangiora RSA. Contact Bill Lochrie bill.lochrie@xtra.co.nz

I am deeply saddened by the events of last Friday in Christchurch. One evil individual has hurt so many and spoilt our country forever by his cowardly act.
Regardless of race, creed or religion, this is not how we behave in New Zealand. We must all strive to ensure this never happens again.
My thoughts go out to those in Christchurch and throughout the country who are suffering.

Jerry Payne – Editor


Our monthly lunch at the Waiheke RSA last week was well attended. The weather was good and so was the company, hospitality and food.
Thanks to all who attended and especially to the Waiheke RSA staff and restaurant.

Our next lunch will be at the Henderson RSA on Thursday 18 April. Yes, we have decided to hold it on Thursday due to Easter weekend.

Waiheke RSA 19 – Click on image to enlarge


Last month Ken Smith (100267) joined the HMNZS Ngapona Assn. Welcome aboard Smudge.

To all those other past members of Ngapona who receive the weekly newsletter, we encourage you to join the Assn. There is a once only joining fee of $40.00 with no annual subscription.

The objects of the Assn are as follows:

1 To foster and promote comradeship amongst former members of the RNZNVR and HMNZS Ngapona in particular, those having an association with, or an interest in, the RNZN and/or RNZNVR, and members of the Association.

2 To encourage an interest in the history of HMNZS Ngapona and maintain a permanent record.

3 To support HMNZS Ngapona if and when required.

4 To liaise and co-operate with other Divisions of the RNZNVR and the RNZN.

5 To encourage members of the Association.

Your membership will help preserve the history of Ngapona.

Click Here for an APPLICATION FORM


Sailors’ Reunions have now become “part & parcel” of our lives as we all realise that life is far too short and getting together is so important. To have a successful Reunion requires the dollar(s) $$ to assist with costs and help keep the cost to attendees down.

In our particular case, with it being a unique, ‘one-off’ reunion of special significance we want it to be a total success. There are considerable costs involved with the Survivors of The Rock Reunion that are not normally encountered by other reunions: memorial plaque, boat hire, bus hire and venue hire (Ngataringa may no longer cater for over 100 people).

We are therefore seeking sponsorship to help meet these costs and avoid the reunion being beyond the affordability of many ‘old salts’ who wish to attend.

Consequently, if anyone knows of, has contacts with or links to sponsorship sources, or would like to make a personal donation, please contact either our Reunion Chairman, Gary Houghton, email address garydk@icloud.com or Reunion Treasurer Charlie Armstrong, email address charliearmstrong@xtra.co.nz. All sponsorship and donations will be appropriately acknowledged. Happy to announce that we have full sanctions and endorsements from CN, DoC and the RNZN Museum.

The main focus of the reunion is to set in place a memorial plaque on Motuihe Island to say that we (the RNZN) were there. We will be very grateful for any financial assistance received.

(I do not encourage advertisements in this newsletter but I believe this is special. Ed)


On 26 March 1976, the patrol craft HMNZS Taupo, commanded by Lieutenant Commander DB Herlihy RNZN, intercepted a foreign squid-fishing vessel off New Plymouth, working 1.8 miles inside New Zeeland’s 12-mile fishing limit. While Taupo attempted to arrest the fishing vessel it headed out to sea, with Taupo maintaining hot pursuit. The government ordered a P3 Orion and two A4 Skyhawks to be scrambled, and a burst of fire from a Skyhawk ahead of the fishing vessel brought it to a stop. It was then escorted back to New Plymouth.  Click on image to enlarge.

The RNZN in the early 1970s sought a replacement patrol craft for the slow and inadequate HDMLs which were of the Second World War era. These crafts would be used for fisheries patrols and surveillance of territorial waters which in 1975 was a 12-mile [19km] zone. They were not designed for patrolling the 200 mile [322km] EEZ that was declared from 1 October 1977. This was left to the RNZAF Orion and RNZN frigates. It was originally intended to order six vessels from Brooke Marine at Lowestoft in Britain but the order was reduced to four. Names were transferred over from four of the Loch-class frigates which had served with the RNZN in the 1950s & 1960s. The names chosen were Hawea, Pukaki, Rotoiti and Taupo.

Taupo took up fisheries patrol work by mid-August 1975. This task would take up most of the deployment time by the patrol craft from 1975 to 1990 but they would also take part in RNZN fleet exercises with both RNZN and overseas vessels. The patrol craft was also used for RNZNVR exercises. During their initial service, the vessel was beset with vibration problems. This class of patrol craft had a reputation for being hard on their crews when underway in heavy seas and there were some sailors injured during the first deployments. One sailor who served on these vessels described them as capable of “rolling on wet grass”.

During the service of Taupo, she would be in refit regularly while her sister ships were on deployment. In addition, the patrol craft was subject to fuel economy measures which meant for periods one of the patrol craft would be laid up at Philomel. All four craft were given extensive refits at Devonport from 1983 to 1985. To support the patrol craft a synchrolift docking facility was built on the South Yard of Philomel in 1973-1974. A 500 ton 40m concrete pontoon was fitted out as a base with stores and workshop facilities to service the patrol craft at the dockyard.

Taupo served with the RNZN until 1990 when she and her sister ships were decommissioned and sold off.

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Hide and Seek: How politicians seek to hide your information away

Here is an interesting article from STUFF on how to obtain information through the Official Information Act

Click HERE to access a video and also read an article.

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Memories of a Father

Yeoman Brian ‘Pilz’ Edwards has kindly provided a family tribute to his father who served briefly in the Royal New Zealand Navy and was subsequently lost at sea when MTB 316 was sunk in 1943.  Thanks, Pilz for your family history and for sharing it with us all.

Click HERE to read on.

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Who remembers this stuff?

Thanks, Mole for the contribution.

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Oral Question Parliament – 13 March 2019

Below is a draft transcript from the Hansard of an oral question posed by Hon Mark Mitchell to the Hon Ron Mark on Veterans during question time 13 March 2019

Question No. 9—Veterans

Hon MARK MITCHELL (National—Rodney): Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Veterans. Does he stand by all his statements—

SPEAKER: Order! Order! Can the member ask the question as it’s put?

Hon MARK MITCHELL: Oh, sorry. My question is to the Minister for Veterans.

SPEAKER: Thank you.

9. Hon MARK MITCHELL (National—Rodney) to the Minister for Veterans: Does he stand by all his statements and actions?

Hon RON MARK (Minister for Veterans): In the main, yes. In regards to my remarks to the No Duff summit held on 1 December 2018, whilst the assertions that I was campaigning for New Zealand First lack context, given the way they have been misconstrued, I acknowledge that my comments could have been tighter, and I’ll be careful in future.

Hon Mark Mitchell: Does he stand by his statement to No Duff Charitable Trust that “when I look at the polling results of my political party New Zealand First, then the veterans, the Defence base, you guys haven’t supported us. At all.”?

Hon RON MARK: Oh, that snapshot, out of a wider comment, made in context was something that I would probably—I’d say it characterises my approach to the job of being realistic. I have always said, Mr Mitchell, to all of them—and I think I’ve said it in that same 25-minute speech—that I take this job as a privilege. It’s an honour. I see it as a three-year posting. The chances of being re-elected can never be guaranteed, and I mean to get as much done for the veterans for the time that I am privileged to be in this position as I possibly can. And, yes, I—

SPEAKER: Order! Order!

Hon RON MARK: —stand by that.

SPEAKER: Order! Order! I thought the member was threatening to give us the full 25 minutes.

Hon Mark Mitchell: Does he agree with No Duff’s founder, Aaron Wood, when he says it’s not the kind of thing you’d expect to get from a Minister of the Crown?

Hon RON MARK: Interesting comment. Look, Aaron is one of those people who set up and founded No Duff, and hats off to Aaron. I would refer the member to the statement just released by No Duff and posted on their Facebook page, and I am very grateful for their comments.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Can I ask the Minister for Veterans as to whether his policy is to regard actions as being far, far more important than words?

Hon RON MARK: Look, a very good question. I guess that is the difference, that is the hallmark, that I would hope to leave on this portfolio should I not be here. The fact is in that speech we talked about delivery as opposed to non-delivery. The fact is that in 2008, a Labour – New Zealand First Government appropriated money to the RSA on a four-year tranche. The fact is that the National Government removed that. The fact is that this Government reinstated it. The fact is that we actually went out and gave funding to No Duff in recognition of the wonderful work they do. [Interruption] That’s performance, that’s delivery, as opposed to what that member’s Government did.

SPEAKER: Order! Order! I’m not sure—was that Ms Barry who made that interjections or was it Ms Kaye? Someone made a most unparliamentary allegation. I think it was you, Ms Barry—a word beginning with B.

Hon Maggie Barry: Yes.

SPEAKER: The member will stand, withdraw, and apologise.

Hon Maggie Barry: I withdraw and apologise.

Hon Mark Mitchell: Given the Minister feels like he’s only got three years in the job, is he going to, in his ministerial role, continue to speak about New Zealand First’s party vote when he’s addressing veterans and New Zealand defence personnel.

Hon RON MARK: I think hindsight’s a wonderful thing. Given the concerns that are being raised and the way in which those two quite separate comments were spliced together and presented, I will be tighter in future, Mr Mitchell. But that will not stop me doing as much as I possibly can for veterans going forward, and that will not stop me advocating passionately for them. I just hope, at the end of the day, to be judged on what we deliver to veterans as opposed to what they used to get.

Darroch Ball: Of all the statements and policy statements and speeches the Minister has made since his being appointed, what is, in his view, the most significant issue facing veterans?

Hon RON MARK: It’s a very good question. There are a number of issues that affect veterans right now. One that has to be at the top of the list is the review of the 2014 Act, which the previous Government passed and which has now been proven by Professor Ron Paterson’s report to be thoroughly inadequate and in need of a complete rewrite. But the one that stands out, ironically, is the one around which this controversy is swirling: it is the work that people like No Duff do in addressing the issue of PTSD. It is the one that has been ignored for far too long of contemporary vets, of which, Mr Mitchell, there are 32,000 now who have completed operational service, and it’s about delivering quality service and support at the front line to those affected with PTSD as opposed to making a trivial issue of it in point-scoring in the way in which that member chooses to do.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Is the Minister saying that the three-year time frame he gave represents the humility with which Ministers in this Government perform their job rather than the arrogant born-to-rule attitude of some?

SPEAKER: Order! The member may answer the first part of the question.

Hon Gerry Brownlee: Well, what was the first part?

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Well, shut up and you’ll find out.

Hon RON MARK: I’d like to think that I’m not one who feels he’s born to rule or privileged. I do believe I’m very privileged for being appointed as the Minister for Veterans by the Prime Minister and my leader, the Rt Hon Winston Peters. I am realistic, and I know you cannot look at this job as anything more than a three-year posting, Mr Mitchell. So I am focused on that. I am focused on that and delivering the very best that I can do for the women and men who serve us faithfully in uniform, and that’s all I hope to achieve.

SPEAKER: Before we move on, early in that answer the Deputy Prime Minister used an unparliamentary term, inviting members opposite to cease their interjections. Two points: one, it’s my role; and, secondly, the phrase he used is certainly unparliamentary. He will stand, withdraw, and apologise.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I withdraw and apologise.

Hon Member: With feeling.

SPEAKER: Yes, with about as much sincerity as I’ve seen on the other side recently.

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