NZ Naval Board Report – 1949

EXTRACT TAKEN FROM THE REPORT TO THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT BY THE NEW ZEALAND NAVAL BOARD 1ST APRIL 1948 TO 31ST MARCH 1949

SECTION II-GENERAL SURVEY OF THE YEAR

4. The main naval event of the year was the arrival of the first four frigates at Auckland on 5th January 1949. With their large radius of action, modern A/S armament, and good accommodation, these ships are a welcome addition to the New Zealand Squadron. Two further frigates are expected to reach New Zealand by the end of August.

5. Consequent on the arrival of the frigates, it has been decided to reconstitute the New Zealand Squadron, with the Commanding Officer, H.M.N.Z.S. Bellona as Senior Officer, as from 3lst March 1949.

6. Negotiations are proceeding for the purchase of a surveying ship in the United Kingdom. Construction will take about three years. In order to commence surveying as soon as possible it is hoped to obtain a surveying ship on loan from the Royal Australian Navy for a period of three years.

7. Other changes that have occurred during the year are:
(a) The corvettes H.M.N.Z. Ships Arabis and Arbutus, originally presented to New Zealand as a free gift from the United Kingdom, have been returned to the Royal Navy. They left New Zealand in April 1948, with crews for the frigates, arriving in the United Kingdom in June.
(b) Two 75 ft. tugs the Arataki and Manawanui have been completed for service at Auckland.
(c) The Wellington Harbour Board has intimated that they no longer require the Saint Class Tug Toia, which they have held on loan from the Royal New Zealand Navy. There is no prospective naval use for the” Toia,” and she is to be offered for sale by tender.
(d) The Royal New Zealand Navy Headquarters in London has been renamed H.M.N.Z.S. Maori. This was done at the request of the Admiralty as the existing name H.M.N.Z.S. Cook was causing confusion with the. Royal Navy surveying ship of the same name.

8. Movements of ships have included a Pacific Islands cruise by H.M.N.Z.S. Bellona from June to August, 1948, during the course of which His Excellency the Governor-General was embarked for a period, and visits by H.M.N.Z.S. Bellona and the frigates to New Zealand ports, ending in combined exercises during the month of March.

9. No British or Commonwealth warships have visited New Zealand during the year. The postponement of the visit of His Majesty the King in H.M.S. Vanguard was a great disappointment. The French sloop” Dumont D’Urville ” visited Auckland in May, 1948.

10. Duties undertaken outside the normal run of service routine include:
(a) Visits to service the meteorological stations on Raoul Island (Kermadec Group) and on Campbell Island.
(b) The regular servicing of lighthouses in Hauraki Gulf.
(c) Fishery-protection patrols by a motor-launch.
(d) Demolition of underwater obstructions in Whakatane Harbour.

SECTION IV – WELFARE

17. Efforts are being made to overcome the housing difficulties of naval personnel, nine permanent and fourteen temporary housing units at Narrow Neck have been completed during the year and a further ten will be finished in the near future. Two housing units have also been completed at Cass Bay. Comprehensive plans are being prepared to house personnel wherever they maybe stationed throughout New Zealand.

18. Recent additions to the recreational facilities available to personnel include provision of a Y.M.C.A. hut at H.M.N.Z.S. Tamaki. Construction of additional facilities for sports at the Naval W/T Station, Waiouru. The inauguration of a scheme for the circulation of entertainment and educational films.