Ngapona Newsletter


13 September 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
20 September 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Tauranga RSA
11 October 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
18 October 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Glen Eden RSA
18 October 19 – Trafalgar Day Luncheon at Te Atatu RSA
8 November 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
15 November 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Grey Lynn RSA
13 December 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
20 December 19 – Ngapona Assn Xmas Lunch at Orakei


At our Monthly Lunch at the Birkenhead RSA last Friday, an Extra-ordinary General Meeting was held and there was a unanimous decision to change the constitution to remove the requirement that limited the number of Associate Members to 25% of the number of Full Members. This will allow those who support the Assn and in particular those who attend our lunches to become members of the Assn. This is great news and we look forward to your continuing support as members of the Assn.


Our lunch in September will be held in the Tauranga RSA at Greerton. Note the date Friday 20 September. So that we can arrange transport we need an indication of numbers. Please email or phone Richard Maddix 021 369 904 or so we can arrange transport advise costs.


At a recent Committee Meeting of the Executive of the Assn, the XO Ngapona, Lt Cdr John Gresson RNZNVR, gave a comprehensive report on the activities of Ngapona.

The report is reproduced below:

Report of proceedings of HMNZS NGAPONA to Committee Meeting 20 August 2019
Since the last Association Committee meeting on 18 Jun 2019, activities of NGA have included the following:

26 Jun 19 Briefing to ship’s company by WO Bokany, Command Warrant Officer, HMNZS PHILOMEL
29 Jun 19 All ranks cocktail party, with invited guests (incl. HMNZS NGA Assoc. Cttee. members), Navy Museum, Torpedo bay
3 Jul 19 In lieu of usual HoDs’ meeting (due absence overseas of NGA XO and OPSO), meeting of Div. Coxn, with JOs and SRs to plan reintroduction of unit OOD / DSR programme on training nights, to further align NGA with RF units, accelerate training of individual JOs and SRs, and enhance opportunities for supplementation (e.g. Asst. OOD duties at PHL)
10 Jul 19 Briefing to ship’s company on aspects of Order and Regularity by CPOMAA Burridge
19, 20 Jul 19 Conference of all VR units’ Divisional staff, XOs and OPSOs at HMNZS OLPHERT, including participation and presentations by CN, CNR (CDR Stevens), DCNR (LTCDR Hogg), and CMNR1 (CPOWM Richards)
24 Jul 19 Fire fighting refresher training at SSTS, Ngataringa Bay
7 Aug 19 HoDs meeting
11 Aug 19 William Sanders VC annual commemoration (102nd anniversary of his loss in action in 1917) at his memorial at sanders Avenue, Takapuna

In the shortcast for the next few weeks:

14 Aug 19 MSFT for ship’s company, Fleet Gym, DNB
24, 25 Aug 19 Workplace first Aid refresher training, NHU, DNB
28 Aug 19 visit to Te Taua Moana Marae
31 Aug 19 Annual Weapons Qualification testing for MARS-L (live shoot), TLC, Whangaparoa

The all ranks cocktail party on 29 Jun 19 was considered to have been an unqualified success, with over 75 attendees, and generally positive feedback form both ship’s pers. and guests on venue, catering and format.

The Sanders VC event, run by TS LEANDER, was also well attended by the standards of recent years: 15 x Sea cadets; 4 x NGA officers, and 1 x NGA SR; and MC’d by NGA’s CHAP Berry. The consensus of the NGA pers. in attendance was that the RF should pay more attention to this event, and others such as the HMS NEPTUNE memorial service, and possible annual recognition of the Battle of the River Plate (i.e. specifically RNZN-relevant occasions) in preference to (although not at the exclusion of) more “party” events such as Trafalgar Day celebrations. During his recent (20 Jun 19) visit to the Tauranga sub-unit of NGA, CN acknowledged that VR units are currently carrying a disproportionate share of the RNZN’s heritage and culture recognition and engagement.

The recent Conference at OLP delivered updates on a range of issues relevant to the current and proposed future focus of the RNZNVR.

On the negative side, while work is ongoing to restructure and optimise VR recruiting and induction training, we are unlikely to see any actual new recruits until early 2021. The survival of NGA as a functioning contributor of VR capability, therefore, rests in the hands of a small number of serving pers. for another few years.

More positively, under the direction of DNR (CAPT O’Connell) and his “Future Focus” SO (LTCDR Andrews) renewed efforts are being made to steer the RNZN in the direction of support professions, trades and other expertise (e.g. Medical, Nursing, Cyber etc.) that the RNZN is incapable of developing for itself, by way of a new VR Support Branch.

Administratively, CNR is pushing for a more concerted “whole of VR”, a.k.a. “no cap tallies” approach to VR training and career progression, with (unusually, in the current climate) no budgetary constraints being placed on units outside of Auckland sending pers. to DNB for cses. and training. However, there is a push to increase the proportion of actual delivery (supplementation, deployments etc.) to training time spent within the units: currently abt. 65% training to 35% delivery (including NR contributions): hopefully closer to 50/50 in the next period, with a view to reversing the proportions to achieve 35% training for 65% delivery as soon as attainable.

Observers at the conference also noted that the VR mirrors the RF, the latter (per CN) trying to achieve simultaneously both re-generation of pers. numbers and maintenance of outputs.

John Gresson


On 20 August 1998, the stained-glass window – ‘In Memory of RNZNVR Personnel who died 1939-1945’ – originally installed in the Chapel of St Brandon at HMNZS Tamaki in 1970, was re-positioned and re-dedicated in the Chapel of St Christopher, following extensions. The window had been in storage since Tamaki’s de-commissioning in November 1993.

In 1960 all serving members of the four RNZNVR Divisions gave one day’s pay toward the memorial window which had been purchased and then placed in store in HMNZS Tamaki because of lack of space in the Base Chapel. By 1975 it had never been installed or consecrated. In June that year Cdr Kingston, CO Ngapona, arranged with the CO Tamaki to have it installed in the Tamaki Chapel.


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