NZ Naval Board Report – 1959


The post-war years have seen rapid changes in the technical, materiel, and tactical fields of the Navy. Even since the last report was laid before this House there have been great and rapid strides by the nations of the world in the fields of nuclear weapons, atomic and jet propulsion, missile development, submarine warfare, and the tactics to meet these new threats. This era of rapid technological progress and change will continue in the foreseeable future. In the light of these great developments and changes, factors, which do not alter, are of great importance. One factor, which has not altered in this nuclear age, is the role of the Navy. It is to cooperate with allied forces in the protection of sea communications, the denial of the seas to an enemy, and the provision of support for land forces.

Mast nations, these days, cannot support sufficiently powerful and balanced forces to ensure their own security and the security of their allies. Therefore they have entered into collective defence agreements to support one another. New Zealand has entered into these agreements that affect her area of interest and within the concept of collective defence the role of the Navy remains unchanged. New Zealand forces have therefore to be operationally compatible with those of her major partners, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, who must provide the major share of allied collective defence, without which the defence of New Zealand would be ineffectual. To enable the Navy to play its part in fulfilling collective defence agreements and to simplify the problems of supply and maintenance, ships and equipment must be of similar types to those of the United Kingdom and Australia. It follows, therefore, that training techniques and standards must also be the same if the RNZN is to continue to play its full part in allied maritime strategy.

Although the likelihood of global war has receded it is still possible far a local conflict to break out in South-East Asia. New Zealand has pledged herself under SEATO and other defence agreements to help resist any aggression in this area and in. resisting this aggression the allied armies and air forces would depend primarily for their logistic support upon sea communications which would stretch as far a field as America and New Zealand. The security of allied shipping would be a vital factor to the outcome of such a war. With the above in mind the Navy is concentrating on replacing the obsolete Loch class frigates with the modern Whitby class. Furthermore, in a future state of emergency or war there will be little or no time in which to prepare; therefore the Navy must be ready at all times to transfer to a wartime organisation at very short notice. Towards this end efforts are being made, within the present limits of finance and manpower, to reduce the Reserve Fleet, get more ships to sea, and to streamline the shore support and training requirements.

In a role of secondary importance to that of defence, the Navy continues to undertake numerous peacetime commitments, which make a significant contribution to the benefit of the country as a whole. Amongst the mast important of these is the coastal survey, which is being steadily progressed to keep pace with the developments of our parts and the increasing volume of coastal and overseas shipping. Allied to this is the production, by the Navy’s Hydrographic Branch, of New Zealand charts for commercial as well as naval use. No less vital is the naval radio station makes the contribution to the Commonwealth worldwide communications network. Other tasks worthy of mention ‘include Antarctic support, oceanographic and other scientific work for the D.S.I.R., fishery protection, deep diving, and servicing of lighthouses.


When OTAGO and TARANAKI arrive in 1961 to replace two of the obsolete Loch frigates, TUTIRA and TAUPO, the naval contribution to meet New Zealand’s defence commitments will be enhanced. Until further Whitby replacements are received the effectiveness of the fleet will, however, remain limited. In the meantime these two ships will form a most effective nucleus upon which to build the future fleet.

A programme for the re-equipment of the RNZN over the next 10 years has been put before the Government, as all ships of the RNZN, with the exception of OTAGO and TARANAKI, will reach the end of their effective lives during that period. The development plan concentrates upon anti-submarine and minesweeping ships because it is considered that these provide the best all-round defence in meeting New Zealand’s two main commitments – the defence of the New Zealand area; and providing a worth-while contribution to allied maritime forces arising from New Zealand’s defence commitments.

To maintain an active fleet whilst replacements are being built measures are being taken to keep some of the Loch frigates operational. ROTOITI completed her extended refit in December and, on her return, PUKAKI will also undergo an extended refit.

During the past year New Zealand’s contribution to the strategic reserve has been PUKAKI. She is at present being relieved by ROTOITI. Other peacetime commitments will be met by ROYALIST, KANIERE and LACHLAN, while ENDEAVOUR will again support New Zealand’s effort in Antarctic research. However, with personnel absent, commissioning OTAGO and TARANAKI, and ROYALIST undergoing a major refit from April to September, the RNZN will be hard pressed to meet its commitments during the year.

The abandonment of the naval training college project at Northcote has necessitated the continued occupation of HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island.

Until such time as finance can be made available for a naval training college the continued occupation of HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island will be necessary. On the assumption that TAMAKI will be used for the next ten years steps are being taken to make substantial improvements to the accommodation and facilities.

(a) Naval Research Laboratory
In the past year steady progress has been maintained on the long-term research programme of the laboratory.

Work at the field station is resulting in a clearer understanding of the physics of the ocean – a necessary prerequisite to the solution of many underwater defence problems. A preliminary examination of the data recorded at the field station is made soon after it is recorded, to obtain information necessary for the control of the work at the station. During the year, a lot of the data obtained in the last two years has been reexamined in a more detailed way, and a number of interesting and important phenomena have been studied fully. That some of these phenomena have not been reported elsewhere demonstrates the necessity far carrying out oceanic research in New Zealand waters.

The naval research ship RNZFA TUI has continued to play a vital part in the work of the laboratory. She has been used in trials of special equipment, in the study of the physical characteristics of the ocean in selected areas round the New Zealand coast, and far hydrographic surveys where the existing charts are not complete enough for underwater defence purposes.

An unusual job in which the laboratory was able to help was the investigation by underwater television into the HOLMGLEN loss. This involved a number of special technical problems, and modifications to the underwater television equipment were made for the purpose. Laboratory staff operated the equipment during the operation.

Cooperation between the Naval Research Laboratory and the RAN Experimental Laboratory has continued, with an interchange of scientific staff for several weeks. This has led to a better solution to certain problems of mutual interest and has ensured that there has been no unnecessary duplication of work. Such cooperation, which is of inestimable value to the laboratory, is expected to be continued with interchanges of staff with Australian and, it is hoped, Admiralty defence research laboratories.

A laboratory scientist has again taken part in the scientific programme of HMNZS ENDEAVOUR in the Antarctic. In cooperation with D.S.I.R. the magnetic survey made last year has been extended and seismic studies of the ocean floor in the Ross Sea have been made.

In order to keep pace with the requirements of the laboratory an extension is under construction and this will allow of a much more rapid advance in the research programme.

Most of the laboratory staff are now preparing far major activities at sea in the next few months. Equipment and techniques are being prepared for an extension of the work into ocean areas more remote from Auckland. The results that will be obtained will increase considerably the knowledge of the sea around our coast. This will be of much value in the laboratory’s efforts to solve some of New Zealand’s underwater defence problem.

(b) Defence Scientific Corps
The naval section pf the Defence Scientific Corps comprises seven officers; two officers having completed their short-service commissions during the year. Six of these officers, and two from the Army section of the Carps, are employed at the Naval Research Laboratory. One Corps officer is undergoing the training phase of his commission (service psychology) at Canterbury University College. He was the only entry into the naval section of the Defence Scientific Corps during the year.

This year New Zealand has become a full State member of the International Hydrographic Bureau, having previously been associated with the United Kingdom and Australia in joint membership. Australia has also become a full member.

HMNZS ROYALIST has spent a busy and fruitful year, which began with two months spent on the Far East Station during which she took part in the SEATO exercise “Sea Demon”. On passage back to New Zealand a goodwill visit was made to Brisbane in connection with the Queensland Centenary celebrations.

In July and August ROYALIST had the honour of carrying His Excellency the Governor-General and Lady Cobham on their Vice-Regal tour of island territories, during which the ship visited 15 islands in the Tonga, Friendly, Samoa, Cook, Tokelau, and Fiji groups.

In November ROYALIST temporarily joined the Australian Fleet for a brief but extremely valuable period of exercises in New Zealand waters with HMA Ships MELBOURNE, VOYAGER, VAMPIRE, and HMNZS KANIERE. Captain H. D. Stevenson, RAN, took command in January under an exchange agreement, which heralds an era of even closer cooperation between the two navies.

In February HMNZS ROYALIST attended the annual Treaty of Waitangi celebrations at Port Russell with HMNZ Ships ROTOITI and KANIERE, HMAS SWAN, and HM Submarine ANDREW in company. This was the largest number of ships of combined navies to be present for the Waitangi celebrations for some years. A naval guard and the band of the Royal Marines took part in the ceremony and the ships were illuminated at night.

After a three-day exercise with these ships in the Hauraki Gulf, ROYALIST sailed for an exacting but popular and successful cruise of the major ports of New Zealand.

HMNZS KANIERE has been engaged mainly in training in New Zealand waters. She visited Sydney in March in connection with the joint anti-submarine exercise “Star Globe”. KANIERE also took part in three periods of intensive anti-submarine exercises in April and September 1959 and February-March 1960 and, in company with ROYALIST, in exercises with the Australian Fleet.

After re-commissioning and working up in New Zealand and Australian waters, PUKAKI relieved ROYALIST in May 1959 on the Far East Station as New Zealand’s contribution to the Strategic Reserve.

During an extremely active 12 months on that station she has taken part in two combined fleet exercises with units of the Australian, Ceylonese, Indian, Pakistan, and United Kingdom Navies. Participation in these exercises, as well as providing excellent experience and training at sea, included visits to Ceylon, India, and Pakistan from which much goodwill has accrued to the benefit of New Zealand’s relations with these countries.

Another visit of particular interest was made in company with units of the Royal Navy to Indonesia. This was the first occasion for some years that the New Zealand flag has been seen there. Arrangements were also made far PUKAKI to visit Kobe and Tokyo before her return to Auckland.

HMNZS ROTOIT’I underwent an extensive refit during the year, in the course of which notable improvements were effected in the living accommodation for both senior and junior ratings.

After trials and working up in January and February 1960, ROTOITI participated in an extensive anti-submarine exercise period with HMNZS KANIERE and HM Submarine ANDREW. This was followed by exercise “Star Globe”. A visit to Sydney on completion of this exercise allowed ROTOITI to make use of the excellent facilities available there and at Jervis Bay for further work-up and weapon training, before proceeding to Singapore to join the Far East Fleet and relieve PUKAKI as New Zealand’s contribution to the Strategic Reserve.

Survey work in the western approaches to Cook Strait and from Stephens Island to Karamea River was continued until mid-April, when this three-year task was completed.

LACHLAN sailed for east coast of South Island harbours on 21 April to initiate field work at Timaru and the Waimakariri River for surveys to be carried out by surveying motor launches and boat parties.

In May ocean soundings were carried out in the Tasman Sea and a visit was made to Sydney to establish liaison with the Australian Hydrographic Service. The Matai Shoal was examined duping the return passage to Auckland, where the lie-up and refit period was started.

In October and November surveys were undertaken at Whangarei Heads, Ngakawau Beach, and Picton for various commercial projects, including the Cook Strait ferry and oil-refinery sites, and afterwards the extension of the survey of Cook Strait up to Patea was begun. With the use of the Two-range Decca equipment, this was completed in January.

As a result of a report of a rock dangerous to navigation in the approaches to Tauranga, LACHLAN’s efforts are at present directed to surveying safe routes through the islands lying off that growing port.

As expected, the Two-range Decca fitted last year has revolutionised the surveying of large coastal areas and is proving a most valuable adjunct.
Survey figures for the twelve months are:
Area surveyed – 4,399 square miles.
Coastline surveyed – 117 miles.
Ocean sounding – 988 miles.

Both surveying motor launches have been continuously employed round the coast throughout the year with the exception of breaks for refit and lie-up from July to September.

Surveys were undertaken in the Firth of Thames, Manakau Harbour, the west coast of the South Island, Timaru, and South Taranaki. At present TAKAPU is surveying at Oamaru and TARAPUNGA is assisting LACHLAN in the survey of the approaches to Tauranga.

During the year, HMNZS ENDEAVOUR made her fourth visit to the Antarctic and successfully carried out her primary task of providing logistic support for Scott Base and for scientific parties in that area. This year exceptionally severe weather conditions were encountered and the assistance given by United States icebreakers in clearing passages for the ship through the ice is gratefully acknowledged.

Planned oceanographic cruises in the Ross Sea were undertaken but the deterioration in weather conditions and the early freeze-up of the Bay ice necessitated an earlier departure than intended to avoid the ship being frozen in.

ENDEAVOUR departed from McMurdo on 16 February and arrived at Bluff on 27 February. From Bluff ENDEAVOUR returned to Auckland via the west coasts of the. North and South Islands for the express purpose of making magnetic observations en route.

During the year ENDEAVOUR carried out two oceanographic cruises in the Pacific and the southern oceans respectively, in the course of which important scientific data was collected.
Dumping and transporting of ammunition were undertaken for the three services.

The two fishery protection vessels, HMNZS PAEA and MAKO, working in liaison with the Fisheries Branch of the Marine Department, have maintained a close watch on operations in the restricted fishing areas from Bay of Plenty to Bay of Islands during the year. Their patrols and examinations of fishing vessels and catches have undoubtedly had a deterrent effect on illegal fishing activities in these areas.
HMNZS PAEA and MAKO will shortly be joined by HMNZS MANGA, when it is hoped the patrols of the augmented Fishery Protection Squadron will be extended to cover a wider field.

The assistance of the Navy was called upon by Marine Department to investigate the wreck of the M.V. HOLMGLEN, which foundered off Timaru. RNZFA TUI and the diving tender MANAWANUI embarked a naval deep-diving team, a decompression chamber, and a television camera and from 21-27 December carried out an intensive search at the scene in an endeavour to determine the cause of the disaster.

This is yet another of the many occasions when advantage has been taken of the services of the Navy’s deep diving team by other Government Departments. Tasks undertaken include work on the Roxburgh Hydro project, salvaging a dredge, laying flying-boat moorings, and underwater demolition work.

During the year seven new charts were published, including a coastal sheet, Karamea River to Stephens Island, the result of three years’ surveying effort and the first accurate chart of this important area. A Chart Catalogue and List of Symbols and Abbreviations was also published. This will be of great value in the interpretation of charts and in publicising their availability. In the past year 4,309 New Zealand published charts were issued by the Hydrographic Branch, Chart Depot, 3,467 being sold to mariners and the general public in New Zealand and overseas.

The annual Hydrographic Committee meeting was again attended by commercial shipping representatives and interested Government Departments. The close liaison between ship owners and the Hydrographic Branch, achieved through the work of this committee, has been favourably commented upon by the United Kingdom Hydrographer as the best in the Commonwealth.

(a) Joint Anti-submarine Exercise Periods
These exercises were held in April and September 1959 and in February-March 1960 with submarines of the Fourth Submarine Squadron. They again demonstrated the invaluable training provided by a live submarine in New Zealand waters, and the great benefit to both naval and air forces of cooperating in anti-submarine operations.

(b) Exercise “Newsex Four”
This was an advanced joint anti-submarine exercise, which took place in October when HM Submarine ANDREW was in transit from Auckland to Timaru. Units of the RNZN and RNZAF participated, and the Maritime Headquarters at Wellington was activated for the duration of the exercise.

(c) Exercise “Sea-lanes”
This was a combined Naval Trade Protection exercise, the purpose of which was to activate and test the organisation for the control and convoying of merchant ships under wartime conditions in an area embracing the whole of the Pacific ‘and part of the Indian Ocean. Merchant ships in the area during the period of the exercise willingly extended their support. British, American, Australian, and New Zealand Naval Control of Shipping organisations in various ports in the area worked in close cooperation from 12-23 October. The many valuable lessons learned have proved of great benefit to the 12 naval headquarters concerned in the exercise.

(d) Exercise “Enzex”
In this exercise in November 1959 the Flag Officer Commanding, Australian Fleet, had under his command HMA ShIps MELBOURNE, VOYAGER, and VAMPIRE, and HMNZ Ships ROYALIST and KANIERE. A wide field of activity was covered and participation of the RNZAAF added realism to the anti-aircraft gunnery and fighter defence of the fleet exercises.

(e) Exercise a Star Globe”
An anti-submarine exercise in the Tasman Sea in which RNZN, RNZAF, RAN, RAAF units, and two RN submarines took part. It was the first exercise of its. Kind since exercise “Astrolabe” in December 1957 and was the most ambitious combined joint anti-submarine exercise to date. Forces taking part were HMA Ships MELBOURNE (flagship) with carrier-borne anti-submarine aircraft, VOYAGER, and QUIBERON, HMNZ Ships ROTOITI and KANIERE, RNZFA TUI, Sunderland’s of the RNZAF, maritime and strike aircraft of NO. 10 and 11 Squadrons, RAaF, and HM Submarines ANDREW and ANCHORITE.
The aims of the exercise were:
(a) To exercise air and surface forces in a realistic joint anti-submarine warfare setting;
(b) To test air/sea anti-submarine forces in operation over an extended period;
(c) To test Sydney and Wellington Maritime Headquarters Organisation’s;
(d) To exercise submarines in their anti-shipping role;
(e) To exercise fleet air defence against land-based strike aircraft.
At the conclusion of the exercise all ships proceeded to Sydney, where a post-exercise discussion was held, attended by senior Officers of all four participating Services. It was agreed that the experience gained had proved extremely valuable that exercises of this nature should be held more often if a high degree of efficiency in joint anti-submarine operations was to be obtained; and that past-exercise discussions attended by all participants were essential in order to gain full value from the exercises.

Three visits were made during the year by RN submarines of the Fourth Submarine Squadron based in Sydney, far combined antisubmarine exercises. Ports visited far recreational purposes were: HM Submarine TELEMACHUS – Whangarei and Auckland HM Submarine ANDREW – Auckland, Timaru, and Nelson.

On a second visit in February-March 1960, arrangements were made far HM Submarine ANDREW to visit Port Russell, where she was of considerable interest to visitors to the Waitangi celebrations.

Other visiting RN ships included the surveying frigate HMS CRANE, the frigate HMS ST. BRIDES BAY, and the despatch ship HMS ALERT.

An Australian fleet of three ships, the aircraft carrier HMAS MELBOURNE and the destroyers HMA Ships VAMPIRE and VOYAGER, called at Milford Sounds and then dispersed to Wellington, Dunedin, and Lyttelton respectively. After combined exercises with the RNZN and RNZAF the three ships called at Auckland before returning to Australia.

The frigate HMAS SWAN represented Australia at the Waitangi celebrations and also visited Gisborne and Auckland.

The French escort vessel LA CONFIANCE made a goodwill visit, calling at Wellington, Lyttelton, Akaroa, Dunedin, Milford Sounds, and Auckland.

During the year under review a decision was taken to appoint, for the first time in the history of the RNZN, a New Zealand officer to the position of First Naval Member and Chief of the Naval Staff at the expiry of the appointment of the present Admiralty loan officer, Rear Admiral J. M. Villiers, whose term expired on 31 March 1960. This marks an important step in the growth of the RNZN and illustrates not only that New Zealanders are available for filling yet another key naval post but also that a further measure of independence of the Royal Navy is secured in the officer-manning field. Other posts previously held by Royal Navy officers up to recent years and now held by RNZN officers are those of Second Naval Member, Director of Hydrography, Director of Naval Intelligence, Director of Naval Signal Communications, and Director of Naval Engineering.

Although it is now possible to fill the above and other key appointments from within the RNZN, there will be a continuing need to seek a small number of loan officers ‘from the Royal Navy, especially technical specialists.

Officer cadets continue to achieve good results during training. Cadet Midshipman M. R. Pate, RNZN, was awarded the Queen’s Medal for the outstanding cadet at RANC and also received the Burnett Memorial Prize for rugby.

Officer cadet entries were slightly lower this year, four only being entered. There were two promotions to the Special Duties List of Officers.

At 31 March 1960 the total strength of male ratings was 2,529, of which 205 were under preliminary training in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, leaving 2,324 trained ratings to man the Fleet. The decline in total male strength of 81 in the last 12 months is attributed to, the cessation of recruiting from United Kingdom sources in 1958.

Many branches are still below strength, but it is hoped to improve this position by specialised advertising. The manning of OTAGO and TARANAKI is progressing smoothly. Fifty-one ratings are already in the United: Kingdom and 161 will be leaving by chartered aircraft in May and June 1960. The balance of TARANAKl’s ship’s company is expected to leave New Zealand by air in December.

(iii) WRNZNS
Although there has been a slight increase in the number of WRNZNS officers, who now total seven, the complement of WRNZNS ratings has shown a decrease in numbers and, at 31 March 1960, totalled only 81. The vacancies in this latter complement cover most categories.

Recruiting was below normal during the year under review and there have been insufficient candidates entered to offset the shortages. The general standard of candidates coming forward has, however, been good.

Interest in sporting activities has been retained although reduced numbers of ratings and consequent increased working requirements did not permit as regular participation in certain spheres of sport as in previous years.

The standard of discipline has remained at a high level and the morale of the Service very good indeed.

The total of the new entries for the year under review was 245, showing a slight increase over the preceding 12 months. The figure of 245 entries represents 62 per cent of the Navy’s requirement, compared with 60 per cent obtained in 1958-59. The artificer apprentice class entered in January 1960 was 17 strong. This is the largest single entry of apprentices into the naval service.

Contacts with civil organisations, e.g., Rotary clubs, parent-teacher associations, youth organisations, etc., have been maintained and improved over the year. Recruiting material is being reorganised and reprinted in an endeavour to attract more attention to the Navy and thereby improve recruiting.

The following honours and awards to Royal New Zealand Navy and Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve personnel were made during the year:
Ordinary Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent of the British Empire
Commander John Ernle Washbourn, RNZN.
Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Lieutenant Commander (SD) Frederick William Ralph (G), RNZN.
Lieutenant Commander (SD) Edward Herbert Biggs (C), RNZN.
British Empire Medal (Military Division)
Chief Electrician Ronald Victor Sutherland.
Leading Cook (S) Eric Gordon Scoble.
Chief Petty Officer Waiter Thomas Evans.
Chief Joiner Anthony Martin Hobbs.
Chief Engineering Mechanic Peter Frederick Willis Moss.
Chief Wren Lorna Evelyn Coles.

ROYAL NEW ZEALAND NAVAL VOLUNTEER RESERVE Ordinary Commander of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Captain John Neat Allan, V.R.D., RNZNVR.

British Empire Medal (Military Division)
Chief Petty Officer John Butler Allan.
Sick Berth Chief Petty Officer Walter Bernard Northcott.

The instructor branch is below complement but, despite this, regular instruction, together with associated examinations, have been satisfactorily carried out. The shortage in complement is due ta the general shortage of qualified past-primary teachers.

(vii) HEALTH
The general health of the Royal New Zealand Navy has been very satisfactory throughout, the year. Although there has been a small increase in the total days sickness, this is balanced by a small increase in the average daily number of personnel borne.

A small epidemic of German measles was experienced coincidentally with the civil epidemic. The majority of cases were reported from HMNZ Ships PHILOMEL and ROYALIST, while the new-entry training establishment, where a high incidence was expected, escaped with only six cases.

Two peaks of influenza were experienced, the first in May and the second in July-August. Cases were mild in both epidemics. PUKAKI in the Far East recorded 22 cases, which are interesting in that they occurred spasmodically throughout the commission without any epidemic flare-up.

Six deaths during the year under review are recorded with regret. Four hundred and six male recruits were examined, of whom 64 were found unfit for service, mainly due to failure to reach the minimum physical standard required and failure to reach the visual standard required far seaman candidates.

Forty-eight candidates for the WRNZN Service were referred far medical examination and 40 of these were passed as medically fit.

Seventy-seven ratings were medically invalided from the Service during the year, and this is the highest number yet recorded in peacetime. Eight of the cases were due to the late results of injuries, while well over 50 per cent of the remainder were due to neuropsychiatric disorders.

No improvement has been shown in the medical officer manning position, which is currently reduced to 50 per cent of complement, and some sea-going ships are without medical officers. Little improvement is anticipated under present conditions of service.

Dental Officer strength has been up to establishment and already there are applications in hand for approaching vacancies when serving officers complete their engagements.

A deterioration in sick berth staff manning which has been evidenced far same years has not been arrested, and further consideration has been given to obtaining authority to recruit ex-RN sick berth ratings from the United Kingdom. Attempts are also being made to increase the establishment of nursing sisters and of WRNZNS sick berth ratings. These two measures, as a short-term policy, will assist the manning of the Royal New Zealand Naval Hospital but they will not solve the long-term problem of suitable trained male ratings far the sea-going ships.

Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve officers and ratings have given valuable assistance throughout the year during their training periods. The passage of PUKAKI to the Far East was covered by a Reserve medical officer as no regular service officer was available.

The Royal New Zealand Naval Hospital bed and equipment situation is satisfactory but various departments are in need of expansion. To this should be added staff accommodation, as the present staff quarters are at the end of their economic life. Approval was obtained during the year far the replacement of the obsolescent Xray plant in the hospital and the installation of the new unit is awaited.

A new Dental Centre, attached to the RNZNH, was opened at the beginning of the year and much needed new equipment supplied. This, together with the improved manning in the Dental Branch, has made possible strenuous attempts to overcame arrears in work. It has also been possible to man again the Mobile Dental Unit which has given very valuable service in ships and establishments where a dental officer is not normally borne

Sport has continued to play its part in developing good morale and team spirit and in improving the physical fitness of naval personnel, but the rising casts of sports equipment and facilities, and the virtual withdrawal of rebates from the Canteen Council, are resulting in marked difficulties in maintaining the provision of gear.

In New Zealand the Navy was successful in retaining the King George V Cup, symbol of Services supremacy at rugby football, whilst the WRNZNS won the indoor basketball at the 1959 tournament. The value of the Fleet Swimming Pool, completed by non-public funds in March 1958, has been amply demonstrated by the increased interest in swimming and water polo, which has been marked by success at inter-Service competition.

In the Far East, HMNZS PUKAKI enhanced the reputation of her predecessors when her rugby team made a clean sweep of all the competitions in rugby football in which they were entered.

During the year under review four houses were completed and contracts let for the construction of a further 27 units. To complete the approved housing programme there remain a further three houses to be built and contracts far these will be called in the near future. However, the completion of the programme will still not meet the demand and Government approval has been sought for a new housing programme consisting of a further 50 houses to be built on the North Shore, Auckland.

At the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge on 30 May 1959 by His Excellency the Governor-General the Royal Guard was provided by the Navy and the street-lining parties by the Auckland Division of the RNZNVR.

During July and August His Excellency the Governor-General was embarked in HMNZS ROYALIST for the Vice-Regal cruise of the island territories.

In February 1960 a charter was granted by the mayor and city council of Auckland to units of the RNZN based on Auckland. The charter was presented with due ceremony at a parade in Auckland, after which the Navy exercised its newly granted right and privilege of marching through the streets of Auckland “with drums beating, bands playing, colours flying, bayonets fixed, and swords drawn”.

At the Treaty of Waitangi ceremony in February, HMNZ ships taking part were ROYALIST, ROTOITI, KANIERE, PAEA, and MAKO – accompanied by HM Submarine ANDREW and HMAS SWAN. The Royal Guard was provided by ratings from ROYALIST and TAMAKI.

The beginning of April 1960 will mark the end of an era in the RNZN, when the Royal Marine Band returns to the United Kingdom without replacement. A Royal Marine band has served on the New Zealand Station since 1936. Strenuous efforts are being made to form an RNZN band. Among the ceremonies in which the Royal Marine Band played a prominent part during an extremely busy year were the Vice-Regal cruise in ROYALIST, the Treaty of Waitangi ceremony, and the Dunedin Festival.

(a) Basic
During the last 12 months the basic training in the Royal New Zealand Navy has proceeded at a satisfactory level. Certain minor changes in the instructional routine were made in September 1959 to enable the maximum amount of training to take place during instructional hours, but in general the routine introduced upon the cessation of compulsory military training in 1957 has worked well and given good results.

During the year HMNZS TAMAKI trainees have taken part in ceremonial guards at the opening of the Auckland Harbour and Hundy bridges, at the presentation to the RNZN of a charter by the city of Auckland, at Waitangi, and at the opening of the Devonport Festival.

Although most of those taking part had only been in the Service a matter of weeks, their appearance before the public on these important occasions evoked nothing but praise for their smart- bearing and high standard of drill.

In April 1959 HMNZS TAMAKI was privileged to be host to the Commander-in-Chief, Royal New Zealand Navy, His Excellency the Governor-General, when he presented the prizes and took the salute at the summer term passing-out parade.

Another distinguished visitor was the Minister of Defence, the Honourable P. G. Connolly, who presented the prizes and took the salute at the passing-out ceremony of the Fourth Commonwealth Sea Cadet Course in January. This fortnight course, the programme for which was organised and run by HMNZS TAMAKI on behalf of the Navy League of New Zealand, was attended by cadets from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and was the first such course to be held in the Dominion.

Minor works in the basic-training establishment have contributed to an improved standard of accommodation. These included the tiling of the cafeterias floor and improvements to sanitary arrangements. The accommodation for the ship’s company in particular continues to require attention.

(b) Specialist
It will be recalled that in 1958, as a result of the need to effect very substantial economies in overseas expenditure, an emergency technical training programme for ratings within New Zealand was brought into force.

This programme has now been operating for two years. While it is still too early to reach final conclusions on its overall effectiveness, it can be said that at the less highly skilled levels results have been satisfactory. As with all major changes and the magnitude of this new task created widespread effects and difficulties throughout the whole Navy it has taken some time for the system of technical training to settle down to an even tempo.

>From the outset it was clear that some fields of higher technical training must continue to be carried out overseas, either because of the small numbers involved or because of the absence of the extensive and costly training equipment essential to achievement of an adequate standard. This small commitment for advanced technical training continues to be done overseas, mostly with the Royal Australian Navy.

In a number of branches, such as engine room and electrical, it is apparent that, with improved facilities on a permanent basis, almost all technical training except for the very highly skilled artificer rates could be retained as a permanent feature of the RNZN. In some branches however, particularly in the field of operators of equipment, as opposed to the maintainers, final evaluation of the long-term effects of middle and higher-level technical training in New Zealand cannot yet be made. In most of these cases the limiting factors relate to the lack of the necessary training equipment and. aids, the provision of which would involve capital expenditure out of all proportion to the numbers to be trained. For example, the equipment for training ratings to an acceptable level at the middle and higher operating skills in the anti-submarine field would cost well over £500,000. The use of such equipment as was readily available or could be improvised to train to middle-level skills in this field has resulted in a standard acceptable as a short-term emergency measure, the longer-term effects of which could result in greatly increased difficulty in these ratings subsequently achieving the higher level needed for the efficient operation of their equipment.

The Naval Board is currently examining the effectiveness of the pattern of technical training in the RNZN with a view to placing a large part of such training on. a permanent basis within New Zealand. This will undoubtedly mean that, in addition to a small increase in the present numbers of ratings to be trained overseas, there will be a substantial requirement for buildings, equipment, and training aids and facilities for which funds will have to be provided over the next few years.

During the period 1 April 1959 to 31 March 1960 1,016 officers and ratings have undergone instruction in HMNZS PHILOMEL on courses varying from one week to a full year’s duration.

It is still necessary for the training of officer cadets and ratings promoted to officer rank from the lower deck to be undertaken in Australia and the United Kingdom; similarly, certain specialist-rating courses have to be completed overseas. These courses, together with advanced training for officers and the artificer apprentice training dealt with in section (iii) form the bulk of the RNZN training courses undertaken outside New Zealand.

At the end of the year under review eight officers and 51 ratings were in the United Kingdom standing by HMNZ Ships OTAGO and TARANAKI during the’ later stages of the construction of these ships. While these officers and ratings are in the United Kingdom they will undergo pre-commissioning courses as detailed by Admiralty to acquaint them with the complex equipment they will be required to operate and maintain.

At 31 March 1960, 74 artificer apprentices were under training. Of these, 44 were in RN establishments in the United Kingdom, and 30 were undergoing Part I training in HMNZS PHILOMEL.

The strength of the reserves at 31 March 1960 totalled 688 officers and 4,111 ratings. Of this number, active reservists comprise 132 officers and 376 ratings, including 14 Merchant Navy officers serving with the Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve.

The approved strength of the RNZNVR is 600 ratings. At present 376 ratings are under training in the four Divisions. Although the increase over the past year has not been very large it does represent an increase of 10 per cent. In view of the number of young ratings who frequently change their civilian employment and place of residence, the increase is considered satisfactory.

The volunteer spirit has been in evidence an many occasions during the past year and keen interest continues to be shown in weekend training. The inactive reserves number 556 officers and 3,735 ratings. Of these reserves, 1,328 are members of the Royal New Zealand Fleet Reserve, comprised of time-expired regulars, who, in most cases, have a reserve liability until they reach the age of 40 years.

The strength of the Sea Cadet Corps at 31 March 1960 consisted of 50 officers and 959 cadets, comprised of 19 officers and 476 cadets from the dased or school units and 31 officers and 483 cadets from the open are Navy League cadets. Satisfactory training of the cadets continues to be made and a number were given practical sea training in HMNZS STAWELL. The Sea Cadet Carps continues to provide a number of candidate’s far cadetships and entries of ratings in the RNZN and RNZNVR.

A Commonwealth sea cadet course was held in HMNZS TAMAKI during January 1960 at which contingents from the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, as well as New Zealand, attended. On completion of the course the averse as contingents spent three weeks touring New Zealand.

The modernisation of HMNZS IRIRANGI, the naval wireless station at Waiouru, has made good progress during the year. Four of the 10 new high-powered transmitters ordered in 1958 have been installed by Naval Dockyard personnel and considerable progress has been made with the modernisation of the aerial arrays, a task involving Naval, Army, Past Office, and Ministry of Works personnel. The installation of improved emergency generators and a transmitter aerial exchange has been approved and will be carried out when the equipment becomes available.

In conjunction with the Past Office wireless station at Awarua, HMNZS IRIRANGI has continued to provide goad service to both naval and merchant shipping at sea. These ship-shore receiving stations accept messages from ships at sea and relay them to the appropriate country of destination aver naval fixed circuits, thus providing full employment in peacetime far the naval circuits and ensuring constant readiness for an emergency.

IRIRANGI also provides the complex communication facilities, which are required to tantral naval operations in the New Zealand area of responsibility within the Commonwealth network. This area covers the greater part of the Pacific Ocean from the South Pole to 210 north of the Equator and from a point between Australia and New Zealand to 1200 east.

The modernisation of ship-borne communication equipment is making satisfactory progress and HMNZ ships are being fitted with new equipment capable of employing modern techniques as it becomes available. This modernisation programme is being carried out in step with other Commonwealth and allied navies with whom HMNZ ships operate.

Two major and a number of minor exercises carried out during the year have fully tested the RNZN’s communication and message-handling systems. Not only have these exercises provided excellent training for communications staffs but they have also provided the experience on which improvements and refinements have been based and have led to the streamlining of these systems.

Communication exercises are held continuously between ships of the active fleet, between ships and aircraft, and between ships and shore stations. These day-to-day exercises are indispensable and of the utmost value in training personnel, particularly in view of the equipment modernisation programme.


The Dockyard again had a very full programme throughout the year. The extended refit of ROTOITI over a period of five months .was the major undertaking. Extensive work was carried out on ENDEAVOUR and emergency repairs undertaken on ROYALIST, in addition to the normal refit commitments on other ships.

The Royal Navy survey ship COOK was docked in the early part of the year and the submarine ANDREW was docked for emergency work on one of her shafts in early 1960. The docking of the submarine is of particular note because this was the first submarine to be docked in Calliope Dock.

The allocations of Calliope Dock for naval ships made by the Central Docking Committee have been satisfactory.

In collaboration with the Admiralty, a raft for testing anticorrosive and antifouling paints, most of which have been provided by the Admiralty, has been moored in Auckland Harbour near the Dockyard.

With a view to increasing the efficiency of the Dockyard, a small Planning Section has been instituted.

(a) Major Vessels
(1) ROYALIST, on return from the Far East Station, was prepared for the Vice-Regal cruise to the Pacific islands. This involved some minor alterations to accommodate the Vice-Regal party. On return from this cruise, the ship was docked for routine work and for repairs to hull damage resulting from heavy weather in the Tasman Sea some months previously.

(2) ROTOITI was given an extended refit, during which time the hull was thoroughly surveyed, main engines realigned, improvements made to the accommodation, communication equipment modernised, and certain changes made to the minor armament. Included in the improvements to accommodation was the reorganisation of the senior ratings’ messes to bunk sleeping in lieu of hammocks.

(3) KANIERE was refitted and docked for routine work. A large number of rivets to the hull plating at the waterline had to be renewed.

(4) LACHLAN was refitted and docked. Areas of hull and deck plating were renewed and one boiler was re-tubed.

(b) Minor Vessels
(1) STAWELL and KIAMA were docked for routine painting.
(2) INVERELL completed trials after modernisation, and was later docked for preservation of underwater gear.
(3) ECHUCA. The modernisation has been continued at low priority. Much of the major work is now completed.
(4) ENDEAVOUR was refitted and docked on return from the Antarctic. During this period additional fresh-water tanks were installed. Later in the year, after leakage had developed during heavy weather, the ship was docked and an extensive area of wooden sheathing removed from the hull, hull planking re-caulked, and the sheathing replaced. At the same time, certain modifications were made to the pumping arrangements on board. The 1960 refit was started in March, after the latest trip to the Antarctic. Extensive work is required during this refit to bring the ship back to a standard suitable to withstand the very severe conditions when working in ice.
(5) TUI, the naval research vessel, has been docked and given a short refit.
(6) The fishery protection launches MAKO and PAEA were slipped for routine overhauls.
(7) The survey motor launches TAKAPU and TARAPUNGA were given routine overhauls.
(8) The refits of the motor launches attached to the RNZNVR Divisions, OLPHERT, TOROA, and PEGASUS, were completed and the craft returned to their Divisions.
(9) The motor launch returned from the Fiji RNVR was refitted and transferred to the RNZNVR Division, NGAPONA.
(10) The 72-foot motor launch BOMBARDIER was transferred from the Army to the Navy and is at present being refitted and equipment installed for this craft to be used as a third fishery protection vessel.

(c) Auxiliary Croft
Routine maintenance has been carried out on the yard croft attached to the Dockyard and on the harbour craft employed for transport to HMNZS TAMAKI.

State of Individual Ships
(a) BLACK PRINCE continues in use as headquarters and living-ship for the Reserve Fleet. The spare living accommodation has been in more or less constant use by visiting submarine crews and crews of ships refitting. A considerable amount of technical equipment has been removed for use in the training schools ashore, while certain equipment and spare parts have been removed for use in other ships. No maintenance, other than for habitability purposes, has been carried out. All propellers and propeller shafts are in process of being removed. Apertures are being blanked.
(b) HAWEA-Fully stored and cathodically protected. Internally the ship is in good condition, but her external condition is steadily deteriorating.
(c) KIAMA-Cocooned, dehumidified, and cathodically protected. Internally the ship is in very good condition. Some external corrosion exists.
(d) INVERELL-Cocooned and cathodically protected. Ready for dehumidification. Internally the ship is in very good condition. Some external corrosion is evident.
(e) TAU PO-Transferred to PHILOMEL. Dehumidification has been broken to enable training to be carried out.
(f) ECHUCA-In Dockyard hands. Refit and modernisation commenced 1 November 1958, and should complete late 1960 or early 1961.
(g) STAWELL-Destored and represerved. Cocooning of armament and external fittings will be carried out during 1960. Internal condition good. External corrosion evident.
(h) KIWI-Condition is deteriorating as little maintenance has been possible.
(i) TUTIRA-Extensively cannibalised. No maintenance has been carried out.

Work has been undertaken for other Government Departments and for private firms where the equipment available for carrying out the work is available only in the Dockyard.

The recommendations of the Organisation and Methods investigation carried out in the Naval Store Organisation are now being implemented. Far-reaching changes in procedures are involved and should result in increased efficiency. One proposal approved was the transfer of the kitting up of new entrants from HMNZS PHILOMEL to the Naval Store Organisation. The immediate result is a saving in naval manpower and a large reduction in stocks carried. A spare parts distribution centre is being set up with naval technical assistance and will result in greatly increased efficiency and much better service to the fleet.

All authorised outfits, equipments, and reserves of naval armament stores have been maintained and distributed as required, and issues have been made to HMNZ ships and establishments in conformity with authorised allowances.

Plans are now being prepared by the Ministry of Works of a new combined machine shop and tool room which, when built, will give proper facilities for dealing with modern machinery. The buildings vacated when the new machine shop is built will be used to give added facilities for other sections of the Dockyard, including radar and asdic. Further progress has been made on the provision of improved facilities and amenities for employees. The Drawing Office has been extended. Modernisation of the galley and bathrooms used by ships when in dock has been started.


The staffing position in the clerical and stores adult groups has been satisfactory but the shortage of junior clerical staff – especially in Wellington – and of certain technical and scientific officers and the problems associated therewith are cause for concern.

Overseas training for civilian technical staff is continuing and, with the impending arrival of the two Whitby class frigates, it is imperative that this training be sustained.

A number of claims by the Dockyard workmen employed under Government Service Tribunal Order No. 141 were heard by the Tribunal in July 1959, and a consolidating order has now been reprinted as Order NO. 210. Conciliation with the Public Service Association on a number of claims by staff tradesmen and apprentices took place in February.
A minor strike occurred in October over payment of allowances for certain work under the hull of ROYALIST. The number of men affected totalled 22 for a period of three and it half days.

The number of applicants for apprenticeships for all trades, except boiler making and painting, greatly exceeded the number of Dockyard vacancies, and therefore the youths selected were of a high standard. Thirty-one apprentices were engaged and a total of 146 are now employed.
The result of the higher education standard of entry is reflected in the record number of examination passes gained this year. Fifty-five apprentices passed Trade Certification Board examinations and 48 passes were gained in Certificate of Engineering subjects.

In common with many other Government organisations in Wellington, Navy Office is handicapped by lack of adequate office accommodation. Hitherto this difficulty has not been mentioned in this report, as the problem is a general one. However, the stage is now reached where accommodation difficulties are reflecting on office efficiency. It has been found necessary to detach a branch from the main office, to be accommodated in another building.

During the year under review three long-service employees have retired and, in the next 12 months, other officers with a wealth of experience and local knowledge will also be last to Navy Department. Naturally these men will be very difficult to replace, and their loyal, hard working, and praiseworthy services are deeply appreciated. The Naval Board wishes also to take this opportunity to place on record their thanks to staff for excellent service throughout the year.

There are 24 honorary relations officers in various cities and towns in New Zealand who continue to render willing and efficient service to the RNZN in their areas.


(a) Constitution-The New Zealand Naval Board is constituted under the Navy Act 1954.
(b) Members as at 31 March 1960:
Hon. P. G. Connolly, D.S.C., V.R.D., M.P., Minister of Defence (Chairman) .
Rear Admiral J. M. VilIiers, 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).