NZ Naval Board Report – 1950

EXTRACT TAKEN FROM THE REPORT TO THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT BY THE NEW ZEALND NAVAL BOARD 1ST APRIL 1949 TO 31ST MARCH 1950

Section II. GENERAL SURVEY OF THE YEAR

4. HMNZS ROTOITI and TUTIRA arrived at Auckland from the United Kingdom on 25th August 1949. These are the last two of the frigates purchased from the Admiralty. On passage through the Mediterranean ROTOITI called at Crete. A ceremonial parade was held at the Suda Bay War Cemetery at which the Governor General of Crete was present. Messages from His Excellency the Governor General of New Zealand and the Prime Minister were read by the Commanding Officer.

5. Although the frigates had been partly modernised before leaving the United Kingdom a good deal of work remained to be done, and it was therefore decided to pay them off in turn into reserve for modernization. HAWEA has been completed and KANIERE is now in hand.

6. Pending the construction in the United Kingdom of a surveying ship for the RNZN, HMAS LACHLAN has been obtained on loan from the Royal Australian Navy for a period of three years. She commissioned for service in the RNZN on 5th October 1949, and has now completed a survey of the Foveaux Strait from Bluff Harbour to Nugget Point and commenced survey of Cook Strait and Port Nicholson approaches.

7. In August 1949, the New Zealand Government informed the United Kingdom Government that they would provide up to three frigates if required to assist in the defence of Hong Kong. Necessity has not yet arisen for this movement, but the offer still holds good.

8. Arrangements have been made with the Admiralty for two New Zealand frigates to serve on the Mediterranean Station for six months in exchange for two frigates of the Royal Navy who will serve on the New Zealand Station. TAUPO and HAWEA sailed for the Mediterranean on 3rd April 1950.

12. Compulsory military service was introduced during the year. As naval requirements are comparatively small, it has been decided that the most economical and efficient method of conducting part-time training would be to use the existing RNZNVR organization. The initial fourteen weeks ‘full time training’ will be carried out in the training establishment TAMAKI.

13. A link with the early days of the New Zealand Navy was lost in July, 1949 when the hulk of the old training cruiser PHILOMEL was towed out to sea and sunk.

17a. The trawler KIWI was paid off into reserve on 7th December 1949.

17b. It has been decided to retain the tug TOIA in naval service. Consideration is being given to converting her from coal to oil fuel for use as an ocean-going tug.

Section III. PERSONNEL AND WELFARE

22. There is an increasing shortage of senior ratings, as those already in the Navy are not reengaging for further service. The chief reasons are the lack of adequate housing, accommodation in Auckland, the lack of incentive in the present pay code, and the higher wages obtainable in civilian life.

23. As regards the housing problem, it is gratifying to see that the Government are now dealing with the question of accommodation for State servants. The urgency of this problem for the well being, and event the continuance, of the Navy cannot be overstressed, and the Naval Members earnestly hope that substantial progress will be made with a naval housing scheme during the coming year. During the past year ten temporary housing units at Narrow Neck and two permanent flats at Waiouru have been completed. A shed at TAMAKI was converted into a cottage. Four houses adjacent to the Dockyard and two flats at Waiouru are nearing completion.

24. A further pressing need is a Services Hostel in Auckland. This is particularly required to provide amenities for the large number of ex-RN ratings recently recruited for the RNZN.

25. No major work has been carried out at the training establishment TAMAKI pending a decision on whether a new establishment is to be built. Should it be decided that TAMAKI is to be retained, considerable work, including the provision of extra playing fields will be required to bring TAMAKI up to standard, particularly to cater for the needs of the Compulsory Military Training trainees.

Section VI. HMNZ DOCKYARD AND NAVAL BASE DOCKYARD WORK

39. On the defeat of Germany a number of German naval yachts were taken as reparations, and from these the 30 square metre ‘LEUCHTAFER’ was offered by the Admiralty to the RNZN. Acceptance was made conditional on free delivery at Auckland, and freight arrangements were made and paid for by the Royal Naval Sailing Association, to whom the Naval Board are duly grateful. This yacht arrived at Auckland in July 1949, has been refitted at he Dockyard and renamed TANGAIKA (Maori for ‘spoils of war’) . She is administered by PHILOMEL and in regular use for yachting and sail training.