EXTRACT TAKEN FROM THE REPORT TO THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT BY THE NEW ZEALAND NAVAL BOARD 1ST APRIL 1958 TO 31ST MARCH 1959.
The training of the officers and men of the Royal New Zealand Navy to the highest standard has continued to receive the constant attention of the New Zealand Naval Board.
New Zealand is too small in population and too limited in industrial resources to be self sufficient in her own defence and she has therefore concluded a number of defence agreements. These call for pooling the resources of the member countries for mutual defence.
New Zealand can make a material contribution to this pool. Her naval forces are part of a mobile and well-equipped Commonwealth force, which operates within the framework of these agreements. This force is efficient because its components work closely together. It can do this only as long as its member navies observe common techniques and standards.
In the main these standards are those of the Royal Navy. Although its fleet is smaller than in the past, the Royal Navy is still professionally and technically in the lead. The design of British ships and weapons, together with professional doctrine, has been adopted by the other Commonwealth navies, and if ships of the Royal New Zealand Navy are to work with other ships of the Commonwealth naval forces in the Pacific, it is essential that New Zealand follows suit.
This has in fact been done. Our methods and standards are those of the Royal Navy and our ships and their weapons were designed and built in the United Kingdom. Our administration and our dockyard are based on the Royal Navy pattern, modified to suit our conditions, and our training follows that of the Royal Navy, both in its method and in the standards we maintain.
Wherever possible we provide this training in New Zealand and we have expanded this policy recently in a successful attempt to save overseas funds; but in many cases the numbers concerned are few and the specialisation so varied that it would be wasteful to set up training facilities here. Those men must be trained in Australia or the United Kingdom.
Experience has shown that it is possible to strike a balance in this. Basic training, where the numbers are great and the range small, can be done economically and satisfactorily in New Zealand. Advanced instruction, which is given to relatively few men but which covers a surprising range of specialisations, is best given by the training establishments in Australia or the United Kingdom.
SECTION I-DEVELOPMENT OF THE ROYAL NEW ZEALAND – NAVY
(i) ORGANISATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The RNZN is organised so that, if required to honour New Zealand’s naval commitments, a maximum seagoing contribution can be made in the minimum time. To this end the ships in commission are immediately available and those in reserve are maintained with a view to being brought forward in the early stages of mobilisation.
At the same time the requirement to remain abreast of developments in equipment and techniques has been observed. In line with this the Whitby class frigate OTAGO was launched on 11 December 1958 by Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, and TARANAKI is expected to follow in August 1959. When these two new ships are received in the RNZN the two Loch class frigates they replace will be disposed of. Replacements far further Loch class frigates are urgently required.
To prolong the life of the Loch class frigates far a further short period it is planned to give selected ships of this class extended refits commencing with ROTOITI in June 1959. Resulting from the necessity to carry out most of the specialist training in New Zealand these ships are also employed in essential sea training.
ROYALIST completed 12 months’ service on the Far East Station and has been employed in the training role. This task does not affect her operational ability and the ship is again spending five months with the Royal Navy on the Far East Station and exercising with the navies of the other members of SEATO.
Antarctic research will again be supported by ENDEAVOUR and other peacetime naval commitments will be met by ROYALIST, the Loch class frigates, LACHLAN, and motor launches.
The additional training requirements accepted during the past year have emphasised the need the RNZN has far a naval training college. The maintenance of essential standards of training and techniques can only be affected economically in a New Zealand naval training college. This, however, is not practicable at present as no building priority is available for this £1,800,000 project.
In order that the fleet, shore establishments, and HMNZ Dockyard may be fully capable of meeting their commitments, improvements and modernisation are planned to continue. This planning, however, can be successfully implemented only with a regular provision of finance.
(ii) DEFENCE RESEARCH
(a) Naval Research Laboratory
The past year has shown considerable progress in the work of the Naval Research Laboratory and some major phases of the programme have been satisfactorily completed. The laboratory is working to a programme drawn up to cover several years’ work. Scientific work connected with the ocean requires long-term planning and research because of the vastness of the ocean itself, its diversity of character, and the difficulty of carrying out experimental-work at sea.
Many of the preliminary forecast, on which the earlier portion of the programme was based, is now being confirmed. Sufficient results have already been achieved to justify the effort involved and to demonstrate the real advance in’ the defence of New Zealand which will arise from the work of the laboratory.
In September 1958 Sir John Carrall, Deputy Controller Research and Development of the Admiralty, and Dr G. S. Field, Chief Scientist of the Defence Board, Canada, spent two valuable days at the Naval Research Laboratory. In November a visit was made by Mr P. Ward, Director of Scientific Services of the Department of the Navy, Australia, and Mr J. Lanergan, Principal Scientist of the RAN Experimental Laboratory. In the week they were here plans were made for closer cooperation between the Australian and New Zealand naval laboratories and far regular interchanges of staff. In February 1959 a Naval Research Laboratory scientist spent several weeks with the RAN Experimental Laboratory and was able to assist directly with their programme. A return visit by an Australian scientist will shortly take place.
A laboratory scientist was embarked in HMN’ZS ENDEAVOUR for the voyage to the Antarctic during which he carried out a comprehensive magnetic survey in the waters south of New Zealand. This voyage not only tested newly built equipment at sea under adverse conditions but resulted in a direct contribution to the International Geophysical Year programme.
(b) Defence Scientific Corps
The naval section of the Defence Scientific Corps comprised 10 officers for most of the year. Five of these are engaged in the work of the Naval Research Laboratory and the remaining five are completing their studies overseas. One of the Army section of the Corps is also working at the Auckland laboratory following his scientific training in the United Kingdom. Two scientific officers have been accepted into the naval section of the Corps in 1959.
(i) HMNZS ROYALIST
The modernised Dido class cruiser ROYALIST serving with the Far East Fleet continued as New Zealand’s naval contribution to the Far East Strategic Reserve until 16 June 1958, being relieved on the station by the frigate HMNZS ROTOITI.
During this period ROYALIST played a major part in a number of combined exercises with units of other Commonwealth and SEA TO power navies and air forces. Ports visited included Hong Kong and the Vietnamese port of Saigon where national salutes and courtesies were exchanged. On completion of a large-scale maritime exercise in the South China Sea, ROYALIST, in company with ships of most SEATO power navies, paid a two-day visit to Manila.
The ship returned to Auckland, via Cairns, on 3 July 1958 after an absence of 14 months and commenced a period of leave, refit, and docking.
In January 1959 ROYALIST, in the course of a short New Zealand cruise, visited Wellington, Lyttelton, Timaru, and Dunedin. During this cruise, the Minister of Defence, Hon. P. G. Connolly, D.S.C., V.R.D., M.P., took passage from Lyttelton to Timaru and Dunedin. After participating in the annual ceremony at Waitangi in early February the ship proceeded for a further period of service on the Far East Station and joined RAN and RN ships in an intensive exercise programme in Australian waters before arriving in Singapore on 26 March.
(ii) HMNZS KANIERE
The frigate KANIERE returned to Auckland on 24 April 1958, having visited Suva (Fiji), the Tokelau Islands; and Funafuti (Ellice Group). During this short islands cruise the sea training of Fijian naval reservists was progressed and a Ministry of Works official and a quantity of stores were carried to Tokelau Islands.
After a refitting period, which extended into July, this frigate joined other RNZN and RNZAF units in a series of anti-submarine exercises in the Auckland area with the Royal Navy submarine TELEMACHUS.
KANIERE, continuing in her training ship role, visited minor ports in the North and South Islands between late August and early October, later participating in a further series of anti-submarine exercises, with TELEMACHUS.
Whilst on a short training visit to Port Lyttelton in mid November KANIERE was diverted to proceed with dispatch to the assistance of M.V. PORT WAIKATO. That vessel, broken down in a position approximately 250 miles, east of Banks Peninsula, was successfully taken in tow to Lyttelton harbour.
KANIERE thence proceeded to carry out a further anti-submarine exercise off Dunedin, on completion of which she undertook a three-week oceanographic research cruise in the ocean south of New Zealand. This cruise was in connection with the International Geophysical Year and took the frigate to the edge of the pack ice in the vicinity of 63∞ south. KANIERE returned to Auckland on 10 December.
Between January and March 1959 this ship progressed the training of new entry continuous service ratings and the sea-training of RNZNVR ratings in the Auckland and Wellington areas, visiting Wellington in company with the Australian frigate HMAS SWAN during that city’s Festival Week.
(iii) HMNZS PUKAKI
The frigate PUKAKI departed from Auckland in mid-March 1958, after a short period spent in training Fijian Naval reservists in company with her sister ship KANIERE, visited Rarotonga to deliver a quantity of surplus RNZAF bombs for reef-blasting purposes. The ship then reported for duty at Christmas Island, acting as a weather reporting ship for a further British hydrogen bomb test.
On her return passage to Auckland PUKAKI landed a quantity of urgently needed provisions at the remote islands of Pukapuka and Nassau. No outside communication with the latter island had been made for the previous six months and, at the request of the Cook Islands Administration, the radio operator and his wireless units were transported to the larger island of Manihiki.
After calling at Niue Island the ship returned to Auckland on 18 May to continue a training programme in the Auckland area until late July. This programme included an intensive series of exercises with the submarine TELEMACHUS and other RNZN and RNZAF units.
On 23 July PUKAKI again departed for the Christmas Island area to take her part in a further series of British hydrogen bomb tests. En route, stores were transported to Apia, Rarotonga, and Manihiki. After an extended period of weather reporting duties PUKAKI returned to Auckland, via Suva, on 9 October 1958. Further anti-submarine exercises were carried out in the Auckland area before the frigate was taken in hand for periodic refit in late November in preparation for service on the Far East Station.
(iv) HMNZS ROTOITI
On the first stage of her passage to Singapore to relieve ROYALIST on the Far East Strategic Reserve, the Loch class frigate ROTOITI departed from Auckland on 8 April to carry out a series of weapon training exercises in Australian waters. Arriving at Singapore on 22 May 1958 ROTOITI served under the operational command of the Commander-in-Chief, Far East Station, based in Singapore until 8 March 1959. During that time this frigate carried out her duties and represented the RNZN with credit, taking a full part in a number of united command exercises.
Other ports and areas visited by ROTOITI included Hong Kong, Tokyo, Hakodate, and the North Borneo ports of Labuan, Seria, Kuching, and Tawau. In September and October the ship was engaged in anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Borneo.
On 8 March 1959 ROTOITI was detached from the Third Frigate Squadron to act as escort to the Royal Yacht, HMS BRITANNIA, on the occasion of the visit to Hong Kong of HRH the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She then commenced the return passage to New Zealand. Having refuelled at Manus in the Admiralty Islands, ROTOITI later made rendezvous with HMS BRITANNIA off both Tarawa (Gilbert Group) and Vaitupu (Ellice Group) and acted as escort on the arrival and departure of the Royal Yacht at each of these islands. The highlight of ROTOITI’s escort duties was the transfer at sea of His Royal Highness from BRITANNIA to ROTOITI and return using the jackstay method of transfer.
(v) HMNZS STAWELL
The Bathurst class ocean minesweeper STAWELL completed an annual refit and trials period in mid-May and then proceeded to carry out the sea training of Fijian Naval Volunteer Reserve personnel, visiting a number of outlying Fijian islands. En route to Suva, the ship serviced the meteorological station at Raoul Island in the Kermadec Group, delivering a quantity of general stores and provisions.
During the Fijian training cruise, STAWELL complied with a request from the Fijian Affairs Office, providing transport from Suva to Lakemba for a funeral firing party for the State funeral of the late Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, K.C.M.G., K.B.E. The Commanding Officer was invited to join the funeral procession on this occasion to represent New Zealand.
Between mid-June and December 1958, STAWELL took part in four weeks’ active anti-submarine exercises in the Hauraki Gulf with other RNZN and RNZAF units and HMS TELEMACHUS. The ship then progressed the sea training of RNZNVR personnel from the four Reserve Divisions at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin.
STAWELL continued training in the Auckland area in January 1959 and later visited Port Russell in company with ROYALIST and KANIERE for the annual celebrations at Waitangi on 6 February. The ship then proceeded to southern New Zealand ports and was employed in the training of RNZNVR personnel from the Christchurch and Dunedin Divisions. The ship returned to Auckland in late March 1959.
(vi) HMNZS LACHLAN
During her annual refitting period in April/May 1958 at the Auckland Naval Dockyard, the survey ship LACHLAN was fitted with an electronic position fixing aid known as “Two-range Decca”. This has proved a valuable acquisition enabling the ship to operate with accuracy beyond the visibility range of shore marks.
In June, LACHLAN continued the survey of the western approaches to Cook Strait before proceeding to Tonga in July to complete surveying Nukualofa approaches on behalf of the Tongan Government. The ship carried out a number of ocean hydrographic observations before returning to Auckland, via Suva, in September.
>From late September onwards LACHLAN concentrated on surveying in the area of the western approaches to Cook Strait. During the summer months a detached party from the ship was employed in sounding the anchorages and bays of Lake Taupo on behalf of the Department of Internal Affairs.
(vii) SURVEY MOTOR LAUNCHES HMNZS TAKAPU AND TARAPUNGA
These craft completed the survey of the approaches to Greymouth and in July 1958 proceeded north to the Auckland area for annual refit and to complete surveys of Awanui River and e>hiwa Harbour in conjunction with shore parties. From October T AKAPU was engaged in the survey of the Waitemata River and other work in Hauraki Gulf whilst TARAPUNGA continued to work in the company of LACHLAN.
(viii) HMNZS ENDEAVOUR
Returning in late March 1958 from a further season in the Antarctic, the Antarctic research ship ENDEAVOUR remained in the Auckland area until completion of a refitting period in mid-August. Over September and October this ship visited a number of Pacific islands, undertaking a variety of tasks for other Government Departments.
On her islands cruise ENDEAVOUR serviced the meteorological station at Raoul Island (Kermadecs) and called at Suva to embark a fisheries officer of the South Pacific Commission for passage to the Tokelau Islands. Within the Tokelau Islands, ENDEAVOUR provided transport facilities for personnel of the World Health Organisation who were then engaged on mosquito control investigations. The ship then visited Apia and delivered a quantity of explosives to each of the islands of Rakahanga, Manihiki, Atiu, and Rarotonga in the Cook Group. ENDEAVOUR returned to Auckland in late October. Throughout this cruise an officer of the New Zealand Oceanographic institute was carried to conduct hydrological observations in connection with the International Geophysical Year. Two members of the National Film Unit were also embarked.
After a brief visit to Napier in early November in connection with the celebrations of Hawke’s Bay Centennial, ENDEAVOUR prepared for her forthcoming voyage to the Antarctic.
The ship eventually departed from Wellington on 20 December to relieve the wintering-over party at McMurdo Sound and to service Scott Base. On passage and whilst operating in the Ross Sea, ENDEAVOUR carried out a full programme of oceanographic and hydrological research.
After another successful period of Antarctic duty, this small ship returned to Auckland on 21 February and remained in that area for docking and refit.
(ix) FISHERY PROTECTION
HMNZS PAEA and MAKO, the two seaward defence motor launches comprising the Fishery Protection Squadron, continued to work in close cooperation with the Fisheries Branch of the Marine Department. Based in Auckland, these vessels operated during the current year mainly in the restricted fishing areas between North Cape and East Cape. At the request of the Marine Department PAEA and MAKO were diverted to the task of investigating fishing activity in southern waters from Stewart Island to Milford Sound, with specific attention to the Oyster and Cray fishing industries. During this period these vessels were equipped for whale marking, which they carried out whenever opportunity allowed. Marine Department again expressed appreciation of the valuable work carried out for that Department by these small ships.
(x) RNZFA TUI
The ex-Bird class minesweeper TUI continued in her role of a fleet auxiliary converted for naval research purposes. The ship was employed in the Auckland area as required by the Director of the Naval Research Laboratory, except for the period 1 September to 13 October, when a programme of oceanographic observations was undertaken for the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute.
On this latter programme TUI visited the main Tongan port of Nukualofa and Suva (Fiji) before returning to Wellington to effect further observations in the Cook Strait area.
(xi) AUXILIARY CRAFT
Auxiliary craft based on the Auckland Naval Dockyard have been employed on the periodic servicing of lighthouses in that area as required, in addition to their normal dockyard duties. The fleet auxiliary vessel ISA LEI completed a full programme of dumping unserviceable explosives for the Army Department and carried explosive stores between Auckland, Wellington, and Lyttelton in June before being laid up for survey later in the year.
(xii) CHART PRODUCTION
As a direct result of the progressive survey work carried out by HMNZS LACHLAN and the two surveying launches, the Hydrographic Branch in Navy Office has published five large-scale harbour plans this year, bringing the total number of New Zealand Government charts to 29. One small-scale coastal sheet is about to be published and compilation of three more harbour plans has commenced.
Very cordial relations exist between merchant shipping companies and the Navy in this field. The annual Hydrographic Committee meeting convened by Navy Office was attended by representatives of most overseas and New Zealand ship owners and interested Government Departments. The past year’s work was reviewed and surveying and chart production proposals for the ensuing year were discussed. The meeting stated its appreciation of the results achieved by the Navy in the interests of safer navigation.
Ships of the RNZN detached to the operational control of the Commander-in-Chief, Far East Station, as New Zealand’s naval contribution to the Far East Strategic Reserve, have combined with units of other Commonwealth and SEATO power navies, armies, and air forces in a number of maritime and amphibious exercises in that area. Every opportunity has been taken to exercise in New Zealand waters with visiting naval units.
SECTION Ill-NAVAL VISITS TO NEW ZEALAND
(i) VISIT OF FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY
A visit of first importance was that of the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Selkirk, during the course of a tour of the Commonwealth navies of Australia, New Zealand, India, and Pakistan in September. His object was to make personal contact and gain first-hand knowledge of problems confronted in the South Pacific area.
Another distinguished naval visitor was the Chief of the Australian Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Sir Roy Dowling, K.B.E., C.B., D.S.C., in November. At a time when Australia and New Zealand are cooperating more closely in defence matters and planning, this visit was of particular interest and value.
Captain Tin Thane Lu, the Burmese Military, Air, and Naval AttachÈ in Melbourne, visited New Zealand naval establishments in April. His particular interest arose from the fact that the RNZN, being smaller than the RAN, had more in common with the Burmese Navy.
(ii) COMMONWEALTHI NAVIES
The highlight of the year was a visit by HMS SCARBOROUGH, a Whitby” class anti-submarine frigate similar to the two frigates under construction in the United Kingdom for the RNZN. Full advantage was taken of this valuable opportunity for Staff Officers and dockyard personnel .to inspect the ship and acquaint themselves with her characteristics.
The submarine TELEMACHUS of the Fourth Submarine Squadron based on Sydney made two visits to New Zealand for anti-submarine exercises with HMNZ ships. During a visit to Dunedin with KANIERE local dignitaries, Volunteer Reserve personnel, and selected sea cadets were embarked for an exercise in the vicinity of Tairoa Heads.
Other RN ships which visited New Zealand ports for training and goodwill cruises were the frigate HMS CRANE (Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton, and Dunedin) and the “C” class destroyer HMS CAVALIER (Auckland). HMS NARVIK, a tank landing ship, visited Dunedin after an operational period at Christmas Island.
An interesting visit to Wellington and Auckland was that of the RN aircraft carrier HMS ALBION accompanied by the store issuing ships OLNA and RELIANT. Her escorting destroyer HMS COSSACK was diverted to Nelson during the Wellington visit.
Australian ships visiting New Zealand ports included the anti-submarine frigates QUEENBOROUGH and QUICKMATCH. During an extensive training cruise of North and South Island ports, the frigate HMAS SW AN accepted an invitation to attend the Wellington Festival in company with HMNZS KANIERE.
(iii) UNITS OF OTHER NAVIES
Three Destroyer Divisions of the United States Navy made goodwill visits during the year, a total of 11 ships in all.
A number of United States ships attached to Operation “Deepfreeze” visited Dunedin and Lyttelton. With the establishment of a permanent base at Christchurch for the U.S. Naval Support Force, Antarctica, increasing numbers of “Deepfreeze” ships are visiting Lyttelton.
Naval Board policy is directed towards manning the fleet with New Zealand personnel. For some years there has been a steady reduction in the number of RN loan officers employed in the RNZN to meet essential manning commitments. This reduction has been effected by recruitment of a number of trained Special Duties List Officers surplus to the RN’s requirements; by promotion from the lower deck; and by the availability of cadet-entry officers who have completed their overseas training.
The initial training of young New Zealand officers continues to be provided overseas, as with other Commonwealth navies, but the RNZN has been able to assume responsibility for providing the first period of sea training for acting Sub-Lieutenants on the General List.
Eight officer cadets were entered during the year and the standard of young men choosing a naval career remains high. This year the Chief Cadet Captain at the RAN College is a New Zealander, Cadet Midshipman M. R. Pate, RNZN. The results from cadets undergoing training continue to be most satisfactory.
There have been two promotions from the lower deck to General List officers under the Upper Yardmen Scheme and three promotions to the Special Duties List of Officers.
The growing importance of the Auckland Naval Command was recognised during the year by the change in status of the Naval Officer in Charge from the rank of Captain to Commodore.
At 31 March 1959 the total strength of male ratings in the RNZN was 2,593, the highest figure at 31 March in the post-war period.
During the year 300 ratings were due for discharge, of whom 89 re-engaged for further periods of service and 30 retired on superannuation.
Manning difficulties still exist in many branches, the number of artificer ratings available in the Ordnance, Electrical, and Radio Electrical Branches being of particular concern. The Writer, Stores, and Cook Branches are well complemented, however, and recruiting restrictions have been applied in the first two branches during the year.
The complement of the Women’s Royal New Zealand Naval Service at 31 March 1959 totalled six officers and 86 ratings, the lowest it has been for several years. There is difficulty in meeting commitments in some branches of the Service.
Recruiting was slightly below normal but the general standard of candidate has remained at a good level. The percentage of re-engagements of time-expired personnel has shown an improvement.
Initial and advanced training has been firmly established and good progress has been made.
The WRNZNS have increased their already keen interest in women’s sporting activities, having competed successfully with service and civilian teams.
A high standard of discipline has been maintained and morale is on a high plane.
In an effort to make the Navy mare widely known in the secondary schools, additional emphasis has been placed on liaison work with schools. The Director of Naval Recruiting has visited 230 schools throughout the country and has been given the opportunity to address approximately 28,000 pupils. The talks have been very well received by principals and headmasters as the subjects used have possessed an educational value. Contact has also been maintained and improved with Rotary clubs, parent/teacher associations, and youth organisations.
The total of new entrants to the Service far the year under review has shown a slight improvement over the previous 12 months. Two hundred and forty new recruits entered the Service, a figure representing 60 per cent of the Navy’s requirement compared with 57 per cent attained in the previous year. The total entry includes 129 recruits entered as a single class of new entries in January 1959. This resulted from the recruiting tours undertaken in the spring of 1958 and is the largest single intake since that of January 1952.
It has been evident from recent recruiting tours that the main obstacle to increased recruitment is the lack of candidates who’ are able to satisfy the entry standards. It is hoped that this problem will solve itself when the local education authorities become better acquainted, through the school-visiting programme, with the educational requirements for entry into the RNZN.
(v) HONOURS AND AWARDS
The following honours and awards to Royal New Zealand Navy and Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve personnel were made during the year:
Royal New Zealand Navy
Ordinary Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire:
Cammander Alister Barclay Gilfillan, V.R.D., RNZN (Retired).
Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order af the British Empire:
Lieutenant (SD) Trevor Harry Wickman (TAS), RNZN.
British Empire Medal (Military Division)
Mechanician First Class Roy Alphonsus Berwick.
Chief Petty Officer Arthur Alexander Howard Brush.
Petty Officer WaIter John Douglas.
Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist Geoffrey Roger Drew.
Chief Electrical Artificer Thomas Gaylor.
Chief Petty Officer Writer Alexander McWilliams.
Chief Radio Electrician Peter David Mulgrew.
Chief Engine Room Artificer Ernest Alfred Payne.
Chief Radio Electrician Peter David Mulgrew.
Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve
British Empire Medal (Military Division):
Engine Room Artificer Second Class Frank Desmond Rastrick.
Chief Petty Officer Berwick Claude Raoul Whitcombe.
The full impact of the increase in local training has been felt this year and the requirements for instruction in technical subjects have been more demanding. Instructor officers have handled a wide range of subjects, some of which were entirely new to them. The efforts of those required to learn new technical material have been most commendable. It is hoped that it may be possible to continue and even extend exchange service and overseas experience for these officers.
The introduction by the Royal Navy of an examination accepted by the Associated Examining Board for the General Certificate of Education has had very obvious advantages for the RNZN where the same examination is used, since the General Certificate of Education is equivalent to the New Zealand School Certificate. Representation has also been made to the controlling authority to allow HMNZS PHILOMEL to set local examinations for. New Zealand Certificates of Engineering for naval artificer apprentices and it is hoped to be able to meet the requirements.
The results of educational examinations have been satisfactory and there is an increasing awareness by most ratings that it is in their own best interests to prepare for advancement and promotion.
The demand for study courses from the Technical Correspondence School and from the Government Correspondence School remains steady and there has been an increase in the number attending night classes at local technical colleges.
The grant from National Patriotic Funds to the overseas frigate was withdrawn during the year and all purchases for ships’ libraries are made from such money as can be obtained from ships’ funds. Consideration is being given to supplying seagoing ships with a small set of general reference books and some financial assistance towards providing recreational libraries.
The general health of the Navy has been satisfactory throughout the year. The total sickness showed a welcome drop of 2,400 days from the previous year’s figures, there being no epidemic disease of any moment.
Pulmonary tuberculosis appears to have been brought under satisfactory control by annual routine chest X-ray of all personnel and by the policy of vaccination of all susceptible new entries, which has now been in force in the Royal New Zealand Navy for some 10 years.
Three deaths occurred, all due to road accidents while on leave. Four hundred and sixty-six male recruits were medically examined, of whom 382 were passed as medically fit. Thirty-one were officer candidates, 29 being found fit. General poor physique and failure to reach the required visual standard accounted for two-thirds of the total rejections.
Sixty-one WRNZNS were examined and 54 were passed medically fit. Forty male ratings were invalided during the year. This represents a rate of 15.02 per 1,000 serving, the lowest figure since 1954 but a figure still considerably in excess of pre-war rates.
Almost half the total invalided came from the neuro-psychiatric group and within this group the anxiety reaction states were responsible for over half the total.
Four WRNZNS ratings were also invalided, all being in the neuro psychiatric group.
The Medical Officer manning position is again a cause for much concern. By March next year the Navy will be reduced to the totally inadequate number of four effective medical officers, of whom only one is a New Zealander. Throughout this year only one New Zealand graduate made any inquiries about conditions of service and then did not proceed any further. It is quite clear from the accumulated experience of years that the conditions of service and pay rates must be approximated more closely to those ruling in civil life before New Zealand medical graduates will be attracted to the RNZN.
The greatly improved conditions of service recently granted to dental officers were immediately reflected in the manning position, which is, for the first time in the post-war period, fully up to approved establishment. An organised plan is now under way to catch up the accumulated arrears of dental work.
An innovation came into operation on 1 July 1958 with the appointments of a visiting physician and a visiting surgical specialist to the staff of the Royal New Zealand Naval Hospital. It is hoped that these appointments will help to maintain that close liaison between civil and Service medicine, which is essential to the maintenance of good Service standards.
The male Sick Berth staff manning position continues to deteriorate at a time when a change in training policy has increased commitments. Intensified recruiting efforts within New Zealand have so far produced little effect and it may be necessary to reconsider the entry of ex-Royal Navy Sick Berth ratings. The numbers at present under training are quite inadequate to meet the discharge rate.
The training of Volunteer Reserve ratings has continued although the number has fallen off with the abolition of compulsory training.
A satisfactory number of ex-CNR medical and dental students have transferred to the Volunteer Reserve and they continue to report for training. Some more senior students have produced valuable papers on ship hygiene, habitability, and various medical problems of naval service. Reserve medical and dental officers have continued to give very worthwhile assistance. .
(viii) RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Recreational activity is fostered and encouraged as a means of developing esprit de corps and raising morale. The keenness of ships’ companies for team competitions in all codes has been exemplified by the successes of ROYALIST and ROTOITI on the Far East Station.
Within 12 months of the opening of the fleet swimming pool at HMNZS PHILOMEL, its benefits have been most marked. For the first time, the summer inter-service tournament in both swimming and water polo was won by the Navy.
At rugby football, the Navy more than held its own in the senior competition in Auckland, some six players gaining representative honours. Navy won the King George V cup for inter-service competition.
The WRNZNS indoor basketball team won both the Auckland league championship and knockout.
During the year 18 houses were completed on North Shore, Auckland, and construction commenced on a further eight. Only 30 houses are now required to complete the approved naval housing programme. The Housing Division of the Ministry of Works has been requested to provide an estimate for these houses to enable construction to commence during 1959-60. The land for them is already held. As the naval houses provided on North Shore are inadequate to meet the demand, preliminary consideration is being given to the requirements of a further housing programme.
HMNZS TAMAKI, the basic-training establishment, continues to provide initial training for new entries. The benefits from the changes made over the past two years in the system of training are now being felt and this year has been one of consolidation and stability. The introduction of a standard syllabus and of a standard day, week, and term has given very satisfactory results and it has been found that the present system is considerably easier to administer than the previous one.
General communications training has been transferred to HMNZS PHILOMEL. The only training now carried out in TAMAKI for the Communications Branch is to give a basic grounding in the morse code.
Despite the inadequacy of the present establishment, the standard of training has been high.
(i) WITHIN NEW ZEALAND
The restriction imposed on overseas courses necessitated the provision of courses in HMNZS PHILOMEL in 14 additional specialist subjects. This emergency training requirement, following the policy of training all seamen in specialist qualifications before being “drafted to sea, made technical training PHILOMEL’s largest and most important activity.
The lack of modern and up-to-date training aids and equipment has necessitated the modification of certain syllabi with the result that some New Zealand trained ratings are not qualified to the same extent or standard as their counterparts in other Commonwealth navies.
A total of 856 officers and ratings have undergone periods of instruction during the year.
With the accent on training in New Zealand a reappraisal of the proposed overseas course programme became necessary. Not only was it necessary to undertake all courses that it was possible to provide in New Zealand, but also the programmes of operational ships were adjusted to make available for training purposes the equipment, which was not held ashore.
The rapidly approaching advent of modern frigates will require advanced anti-submarine training to be undertaken in Australia, where the essential technical equipment is available. It would not be economic to duplicate this expensive equipment in New Zealand.
A limited amount of training, which cannot be provided, elsewhere, including training for promotion from the lower deck to commissioned rank and officers’ specialist training, is undertaken in the United Kingdom. Similarly, a small number of ratings proceeded to the United Kingdom for specialist course training.
The first advance party of one officer and four ratings to stand by the Whitby class frigates during their construction left New Zealand for the United Kingdom during the year. These personnel are required to be present during pre-commissioning trials, to perform administrative duties, and undergo pre-commissioning courses at Royal Navy Technical Training establishments in order to become acquainted with the complex equipment being installed in the ships.
(iii) ARTIFICER APPRENTICES TRAINING
During the year a total of 76 artificer apprentices were under training in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Of these, 58 are at present undergoing Part II training overseas and 18 are undergoing Part I training in HMNZS PHILOMEL.
SECTION VI-NON-REGULAR FORCES
The strength of the Reserves at 31 March 1959 totalled 644 officers and 3,912 ratings. Of this number, active reservists comprise 133 officers and 346 ratings, 14 of the officers being Merchant Navy, the majority of whom are in the service of the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand.
The entry of 18-year-olds under the provisions of the Military Training Act has been discontinued and the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve has now reverted to its traditional role of a purely volunteer organisation. A most gratifying number of national servicemen volunteered to remain with the Reserves and all the officers who were under training as 18-year-olds are still attached to the RNZNVR. The approved strength of the RNZNVR is 600 ratings and it is intended to build up to this number over the next two years. Already 346 ratings are under training in the four Divisions. A most pleasing feature of the reorganised RNZNVR has been the return of the volunteer spirit with the traditional keenness and enthusiasm so typical of the volunteer. Already there is evidence of a lively interest in weekend training, such as sailing, Divisional motor launch instruction, and rifle shooting.
Of the inactive reservists, who number 3,566, 1,216 are members of the Royal New Zealand Fleet Reserve. This Reserve is the most important of all the inactive reserves, comprising as it does time-expired regulars who under the terms of their service engagement have a Reserve liability, in most cases, till they reach the age of 40 years or for 10 years after discharge from the Service, whichever is the later.
(ii) SEA CADET CORPS
The strength of the Sea Cadet Corps at 31 March 1959 comprised 50 officers and 942 cadets, of whom 34 officers and 472 cadets were from the open or Navy League cadets, the remainder being in the schools as the naval component of the New Zealand Cadet Corps.
Very satisfactory progress has been made in the training of these boys and a fair proportion has been given practical sea training during the year in HMS CRANE and HMNZ ships ENDEAVOUR and STAWELL. In addition 12 officers and 216 cadets attended a summer training course in HMNZS TAMAKI in January.
The Sea Cadet Corps, both open and closed units, are providing a number of candidates for cadetships and entries in the lower deck of the RNZN and it is worthy of note that the present Cadet Captain of the Royal Australian Naval College is a New Zealand cadet, who joined from the Canterbury Sea Cadet Unit.
The Navy League of New Zealand are progressing their plans for the Commonwealth Sea Cadet course to be held in New Zealand in January 1960. It is known that the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia will send contingents of cadets and the RNZN intend to give every assistance to the Navy League with the object of making the visit of the Commonwealth lads an outstanding success. The course will be held in HMNZS TAMAKI and it is also hoped to provide some practical sea training in HMNZ ships at the conclusion of the course. It is intended to send an equal number of New Zealand cadets to the course. For the remaining three weeks that the visitors will be in New Zealand, they will be the guests of the Navy League of New Zealand and will, it is hoped, see a great deal of New Zealand during this time.
(i) SHORE COMMUNICATIONS
Within the Commonwealth communication network, New Zealand is responsible for naval communications area covering the greater part of the Pacific Ocean and extending from the South Pole to 210 north of the Equator, and from a point between Australia and New Zealand to 1200 east. This area of responsibility includes the Pacific islands of the Gilberts, Hawaii, Marquesas, and Pitcairn and all other islands between these extremities.
The responsibility for receiving merchant ships’ commercial traffic is shared between HMNZS IRlRANGI, the Naval Wireless Station at Waiouru, and the Post and Telegraph Department station at Awarua. Naval circuits are utilised for passing this traffic between Commonwealth wireless stations.
IRIRANGI provides complete wireless facilities for the control of naval operations and the strategic communication links with other Commonwealth and allied countries and is in the process of being modernised. The modernisation programme is being arranged in a manner, which will not disrupt the day-to-day working of the station and will not affect New Zealand’s responsibilities.
The additional activities undertaken in respect of Operation “Deep freeze” and visits by units of the United States Navy and the Far East Fleet provided excellent opportunities for assessing the efficiency of naval shore communications at busy times.
(ii) SHIP-BORNE COMMUNICATIONS
The natural development of more modern techniques and the impetus given to all electronics, together with the wider use being made of radio in television, taxi services, and similar activities have caused considerable congestion in the frequency spectrum. Plans to overcome this are reaching maturity and new equipments are now becoming available and are being fitted in HMNZ ships. The need to maintain operational compatibility makes it essential to synchronise fitting with Commonwealth and allied navies. This is being done as fast as possible.
Radio telephone calls between personnel serving in HMNZ ships and their relatives in New Zealand, using Post Office radiotelephone facilities, are proving popular and most satisfactory, especially for HMNZ ships attached to the Far East Station.
(iii) EXERCISE COMMUNICATIONS
Communications exercises are held continuously between ships of the active fleet, between ships and shore stations, and between ships and aircraft whenever an opportunity arises. With the introduction of new equipment and modern techniques, the need to exercise communications personnel becomes ever more important.
Communication exercises for, Reserve personnel have been conducted throughout the year with most satisfactory results. The Canterbury Division, RNZNVR, succeeded in carrying out exercises with an RNR division in England, proving the effectiveness of their training and at the same time adding interest to the exercise programme. HMNZ ships serving in remote areas also maintain a direct contact with New Zealand in carrying out weekly communication exercises with the Reserve Divisions.
SECTION VIII-HMNZ DOCKYARD
The first main refit of ROYALIST since modernisation, and the ‘increasing maintenance requirements on the ageing ships of the RNZN gave the Dockyard a very full programme throughout the year.
Ships have been maintained to meet all operational requirements and dockyard personnel have proved themselves fully capable of carrying out the skilled work required to maintain the highly complex equipment installed in HMNZS ROYALIST. The skill attained and the experience gained during the first major refit of a modern cruiser will enable the Dockyard to undertake with confidence the future maintenance of Whitby class frigates and yisiting warships.
The allocations of commercial and naval ships in Calliope Dock made by the Central Docking Committee have been satisfactory. Work of a minor nature was carried out on a number of visiting Royal Navy ships.
A reorganisation now in progress in Royal Naval dockyards, designed to increase production, is being closely observed with a view to the possible application of similar reorganisation in the Royal New Zealand Naval Dockyard.
(a) Major Vessels
ROYALIST, on returning from the Far East Station, was given the first main refit since modernisation in Devonport, United Kingdom. This refit occupied three months during which time the ship was docked. A very comprehensive list of work was completed.
KANIERE was refitted and docked. One main job carried out was the almost complete re tubing of both boilers. The installation of modern communications was further progressed.
PUKAKI was given an extensive refit and docking prior to departure for the Far East Station. Installation of modern communications was further progressed.
LACHLAN was refitted and docked. During the refit a new survey boat which had been built by the Dockyard was placed on board. Also Two-range Decca was installed.
(b) Minor Vessels ,
STAWELL refit was completed early in the year. The ship was docked later for routine work.
INVERELL. The modernisation was completed ready for full trials of minesweeping gear.
ECHUCA. The modernisation has been started at low priority.
ENDEAVOUR was refitted and docked preparatory to her voyage to the Antarctic.
TUI, the Naval research vessel, was given an extensive refit and docking.
The fishery protection launches MAKO and PAEA have- been re-engined during the year.
The survey motor launches TAKAPU and TARAPUNGA were given routine overhauls.
During the year, the motor launches attached to the RNZNVR Divisions, OLPHERT, TOROA, and PEGASUS, have gone to the Dockyard for their triennial Dockyard refit.
(c) Auxiliary Craft
Routine maintenance has been carried out on the craft employed on harbour duties and transport to HMNZS TAMAKI.
(iii) RESERVE FLEET
The sale of the four Scottish Isles class minesweepers SANDA, SCARBA, INCHKEITH, and KILLEGRAY has reduced the number of ships in the Reserve Fleet to eight.
HMNZS BLACK PRINCE has been transferred from Supplementary Reserve to Extended Reserve. She remains the headquarters and living ship of the Reserve Fleet. The living accommodation in the ship has been utilised by the crews of submarines and ships refitting. Certain items of equipment are in regular use by training classes from HMNZS PHILOMEL.
HMNZS HAWEA is now fully preserved and cathodically protected.
HMNZS TAUPO is still cocooned and dehumidified and has been cathadically protected.
HMNZS TUTIRA has been completely de-stored, with. No maintenance being carried out.
(d) Bathurst Class Ocean Minesweepers
HMNZS INVERELL is nearing completion of modernisation and refit. After trials, the ship will be re-preserved, cocooned, and dehumidified, to be followed by cathadic protection.
HMNZS ECHUCA is undergoing modernisation and refit.
HMNZS KIAMA is cocooned, dehumidified, and cathodically protected.
(e) Anti-submarine Minesweeping Trawler
HMNZS KIWI is being maintained as manpower is available.
(iv) MISCELLANEOUS WORK
Work was undertaken far Government Departments and for some private firms to wham certain equipment was not available elsewhere.
(v) NAVAL STORE ORGANISATION
As a result of import restrictions and the need to conserve overseas funds, investigation has continued into the possibility of introducing increasing numbers of locally produced articles in the RNZN, with the result that many more such items have displaced imported articles, both in naval and messtrap stores.
Naval store systems and procedures have been systematically overhauled during the year and Organisation and Methods recommendations are now being implemented. A better service to ships and establishments will result and some economy is expected.
(vi) NAVAL ARMAMENT DEPOTS
All authorised outfits and reserves of ordnance and explosive stores have been maintained ready for immediate issue to the Service. Wharf and lighterage service has been used by the Army and Air Force for the inward and outward shipping of magazine stores.
(vii) DOCKYARD DEVELOPMENT
The new Weapon Equipment Shop was completed and its facilities were available for the main refit of ROYALIST. Alterations included increased working space and facilities for maintenance of new equipment and further progress was made in the provision of improved facilities and amenities for employees.
The ever-increasing complexity of warships and the equipment installed in them continues to put a greater load on the facilities of the Dockyard and the need for expansion of workshops and for additional equipment to meet the maintenance requirement is under review.
SECTION IX-DEPARTMENTAL ADMINISTRATION
(i) PUBLIC SERVICE STAFF
The improved availability of suitable staff over the past two years has resulted in all the Department’s requirements being substantially met except in the draughting and certain of the scientific and technical fields.
Internal staff training measures has been progressed as far as possible and, in general, have met training requirements in the administrative, stores, accounting, and trades fields. In the technical fields, however, were the more advanced training is available only from overseas sources, the restricted overseas funds available during the year resulted in almost the whole of the advanced technical training programme being suspended meantime. There is consequently an accumulation of overseas training requirements, which, because of the advent of modern ships with more up-to-date equipment, are becoming of some concern.
In October, Mr W. Hutchings, Assistant Navy Secretary, returned to New Zealand after having graduated at the Imperial Defence College, London.
(ii) DOCKYARD WORKMEN
During the year representatives of the Public Service Association, on behalf of permanent staff tradesmen under Government Service Tribunal Order No. 130 and the Dockyard workmen under Government Service Tribunal Order No. 141, were met in conciliation. A number of amendments to each of the orders were agreed upon on each occasion. Relations with staff and workmen’s representatives have continued to be very satisfactory and no time was lost through industrial disputes.
(iii) DOCKYARD APPRENTICES
Many applications were received for apprenticeship, particularly in the more popular trades, with the result that the youths accepted were of a high educational standard. Thirty-one apprentices were finally selected with the assistance of the Naval Personnel Selection Officer.
Results of outside examinations continue to be satisfactory. Fourteen apprentices passed units of the Certificate of Engineering examinations and thirty-two passed units of the Trade Certification Board examination.
(iv) NAVAL RELATIONS OFFICERS
These officers, of whom there are 25 in as many cities and towns throughout New Zealand, continue to represent the RNZN in their respective areas in a most efficient and effective manner. The time they devote to naval matters is not inconsiderable and the Naval Board is most grateful for the assistance they render so willingly in an honorary capacity.
CONSTITUTION AND MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL BOARD
(a) Constitution–The New Zealand Naval Board is constituted under the Navy Act 1954.
(b) Members as at 31 March 1959:
Hon. P. G. Connolly, D.S.C., V.R.D., M.P., Minister of Defence (Chairman).
Rear Admiral J. M. Villiers, O.B.E. (First Naval Member).
Commodore Peter Phipps, D.S.C. AND BAR, V.R.D. (Second Naval Member).
Commodore A. L. Tapper (Third Naval Member).
D. A. Wraight, Esq. (Navy Secretary and Member).