NZ Naval Board Report – 1962


1. This report is a record of the year for the Royal New Zealand Navy. It should be read in the understanding that whatever else the Navy did during this period it remained above all an operational force. Ships were kept in the Far East and in New Zealand ready to sail at any time in the national interest. They were fully manned, their men were fully trained, and stores were always available to permit a sudden departure and a prolonged absence.

2. This state of constant readiness is an accepted feature of the Navy and possibly for this reason is often overlooked. From time to time it captures public attention, as, for example, when a frigate with a supplemented ship’s company left Auckland only a few hours after a report was received of a threat to the civil peace on a remote Pacific island. This traditional ability to sail, self-contained, carrying troops if required and prepared for any eventuality, is generally accepted. It should never be overlooked that this results from careful planning and considerable effort.

3. To be constantly ready the Navy must overcome two problems: the time taken to build ships, and to train men. As an example of this the decision to recommend the Otago-class frigates as replacements for the wartime Lochs was taken in 1955. The first keel was laid in 1957, the first ship was launched in 1958, and commissioned in 1960 – five years after the initial decision. Similarly, it takes five years to train a cadet entered naval officer (seven years in some technical branches) and at least two years for a responsible rating. Since there is no recorded case in history of an aggressor waiting for a defenceless victim to arm himself, a Navy, which wants to be ready when it is needed, must be ready all the time. It must be self-renewing, constantly replacing its ships and its trained men.

4. It is encouraging to record that this is being done. We have replaced two of the Lochs and tenders have been called and closed for the replacement of a third. We have replaced our original Antarctic supply ship with one more suited for the work and capable of other valuable tasks. We have reduced our reserve maintenance responsibilities by declaring surplus ships, which have no value in the new Navy that is being developed. Other ships have been extensively altered so that they will provide a reasonable standard of living accommodation for the remainder of their useful lives. Ashore, similar progress has been made. A decision has been made to evacuate Motuihe Island and to concentrate naval training more efficiently and more economically in Fort Cautley on Auckland’s North Shore. We have built modern maintenance facilities in the Dockyard, and it is an indication of the capacity both of the yard and of the men who work there that last year they completely refitted a modern fast frigate, installing in the process the Seacat anti-aircraft missile system. Approval has now been given for a new combined machine shop and tool room; when this is completed it will be a most important contribution to the Dockyard’s industrial ability. In addition, a welcome and long overdue improvement in the standard of accommodation ashore is nearing completion with the construction of a new living block in HMNZS PHILOMEL. We have also continued the development of modern training facilities. These benefit efficiency and conserve overseas funds by making possible in this country instruction, which was formerly available only elsewhere. An example of this is the construction of a modern and well-equipped damage control school at Ngataringa Bay.

5. The Naval Board feel confident that this is continuing the development of a small but effective Navy. There is good evidence of this. Last year a New Zealand cruiser worked with a United States Navy training group at Hawaii and emerged from an internationally recognised hard test with a mark that placed her high as an operational unit. The cruiser then went on to a highly successful visit to Canada and the United States during which she built goodwill for New Zealand and gave considerable assistance to the national drive for trade in those countries. Another frigate spent a year with the Far East Fleet and for the first time New Zealand was represented there by a ship which was an acknowledged leader in her class. The new Antarctic supply ship made two supply voyages to McMurdo Sound instead of the usual one, and a team of Navy divers made a difficult and successful survey of wartime minefields in the central Pacific from another ship. In addition, of course, there was the usual work of surveying, fishery protection, research, exercising and training, and all the minor tasks, which through the years have become associated with the Navy. Finally, all ships took a prominent part in the Waitangi Treaty celebrations subsequently described as one of the highlights of the Royal visit.

6. This is a record of which the Navy can be proud. Comparisons are difficult, but there are few other Commonwealth Navies which constantly keep more than 60 per cent of their men at sea, or which do as much, travel as widely, or discharge such a varied range of responsibilities on such a relatively small annual vote.

7. Looking forward, the Naval Board see no reason why this level of efficiency cannot be maintained. They feel that a six-frigate, basically anti-submarine force, with supporting auxiliary ships is substantially the future shape of the Royal New Zealand Navy. It is a reasonable compromise between what is needed, what the country can afford, and what it can man. As a result they are planning, not on an increase in the present size, but on progressive replacement of ships by modern equivalents as they become too old to be economically maintained and too outmoded to be militarily efficient.

8. However, all of this, the present efficiency and the future value, is dependent on a continuation of the present policy of progressive replacement. The Navy today is the result of wise decisions in the past and the decisions made today will determine its future. If we are permitted to spend only 20 per cent of our estimate on the replacement of our essential ships, the Navy will maintain its standard and will continue to make economic and effective use of the money voted for the naval defence of this country.



9. The re-equipment of the Navy continued with the calling of tenders for a third modern frigate to replace another of the ageing wartime ships, all of which are at the end of their useful lives.

10. The oil tanker mentioned in last year’s report arrived in November. It was named HMNZS ENDEAVOUR after its predecessor and to perpetuate an historic name, and carried out two successful voyages to the Antarctic in support of both New Zealand and United States operations.

11. The Government approved the transfer of HMNZS TAMAKI, the New Entry Training Establishment, from Motuihe Island to Fort Cautley, an Army establishment on the North Shore of Auckland. This, while it will affect economy in capital expenditure and maintenance, is expected to improve efficiency and living and working conditions.



12. HMNZS ROYALIST added to New Zealand naval history when the ship left Auckland for Pearl Harbour in June to undergo the first work up by an RNZN ship under the U.S. Navy system. A call was made en route at Apia where a four-gun saluting battery was presented to Western Samoa. On arrival at Pearl Harbour ROYALIST began a month of battle-training exercises with units of the U.S. Navy, during which all functions of the warship were tested. The experience proved so satisfactory as to raise hopes of repeating it with other RNZN ships.

13. ROYALIST then sailed for Canada and the U.S.A. on the first extended cruise of the North American Pacific coast by a ship of the RNZN, and visited Victoria, B.C., Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Long Beach, and San Diego, before returning to New Zealand in October. ROYALIST sailed again from Auckland in February to relieve HMNZS TARANAKI on the Far East Station, visiting Brisbane, Darwin, and Port Swettenham en route to Singapore.

14. HMNZS OTAGO spent a short shakedown and work-up period in Sydney with units of the Royal Australian Navy in September and October. In January the ship left for Fiji to escort HM Yacht BRITANNIA.

15. HMNZS TARANAKI relieved HMNZS PUKAKI on the Far East Station in April and participated as a unit of the Far East Fleet in the exercises described below, also visiting Hong Kong, Okinawa, Nagoya, Kure, Inchon, Sasebo, Subic Bay, and Palembang. TARANAKI formed part of the squadron visiting Fremantle for the Commonwealth Games at Perth before sailing for New Zealand via Darwin, Port Moresby, and Suva. En route the ship held herself ready for search and rescue duties for the Royal flight north-east of Fiji on 28 March.

16. Having been relieved on the Far East Station by HMNZS TARANAKI, HMNZS PUKAKI returned to Auckland in June, calling at Darwin and Brisbane en route. In November the ship transported stores for the weather station at Raoul Island and visited Suva.

17. HMNZS ROTOITI made short visits to Sydney and Suva in June and July while on a training cruise. From October to December ROTOITI again acted as ocean weather ship for Operation DEEPFREEZE at latitude 60∞ south in conjunction with USS DURANT and FORSTER.

18. HMNZS ENDEAVOUR commissioned at San Francisco on 6 October and arrived in Auckland in November after calling at Pearl Harbour. Two trips by this tanker supply ship were made to the Antarctic during the season, and over a million gallons of fuel and about a hundred tons of dry cargo transported. In addition, oceanographic studies were made and a scientific expedition landed at the Auckland Islands.


(a) “RAWFISH” (June)-USN and RN exercise involving carrier task force operations – HMNZS TARANAKI.

(b) “FOTEX” (July)-SEATO exercise with a weapon-training period followed by a tactical exercise in a limited war setting – HMNZS TARANAKI.

(c) “SEASCAPE” (October)-SEATO naval control of shipping exercise – all RNZN ships.

(d) “AUCKEX 7” (October/November)-Anti-submarine and weapon-training exercise held in Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty area – HMNZ Ships OTAGO and PUKAKI, HM Submarine TABARD, and RNZAF aircraft.

(e) “SHOPWINDOW” (October)-Demonstration for members of Parliament – HMNZ Ships ROYALIST, OTAGO, and PUKAKI, HM Submarine TABARD, and RNZAF aircraft.

(f) “DINKUM ONE, TWO, THREE, and FOUR” (November/December)-A series of RN and RAN anti-submarine and weapon training exercises – HMNZS TARANAKI.

(g) “RANGITOTO” (January)-The annual tactical-training exercise for personnel of the RNZNVR motor launches from the Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury, and Otago Divisions with HMNZ Ships PAEA and MAKO.

(h) “AUCKEX 8” (March)-Anti-submarine and weapon-training exercises in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty area – HMNZ Ships OTAGO and ROTOITI, HM Submarine TAPIR, and RNZAF aircraft.


19. During the past year HMNZ Ships PAEA, MAKO, and MANGA carried out 22 fishery patrols each of up to two weeks’ duration and extending from North Cape to Bluff, steaming a total of 21,440 miles. In the course of the patrols the ships visited outlying islands checking for illegal mutton birding; inspected Cray fishing boats, examined the gear on many other boats, and patrolled prohibited areas.

20. In addition, the Squadron participated in the Royal tour, carried personnel and stores to the outlying islands in Hauraki Gulf, participated in Anzac Day celebrations at Whakatane, Russell, and Whitianga, embarked sea cadets and reservists for training and performed search and rescue duties.
21. In January the Squadron began a sperm whale survey off the east coast of the North Island, from the Three Kings Islands to Cook Strait concurrently with fishery protection duties.


(a) Waitangi Day

22. As in previous years, the Royal New Zealand Navy was responsible for the organisation of the naval part of the Waitangi Day celebrations. This year the evening ceremony was celebrated in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. HMNZ Ships ROYALIST, OTAGO, ROTOITI, and LACHLAN were present with HM Yacht BRITANNIA, HMS COOK, and HM Submarine TAPIR. ROYALIST provided the Royal guard and fired a 21-gun salute for the Treaty celebrations, and all ships illuminated at sunset. HMNZ Ships PAEA, MAKO, MANGA, TAKAPU, TARAPUNGA, and ML P3555 were also present.

(b) Royal Visit

23. HM Yacht BRITANNIA was escorted by HMNZS OTAGO from Lautoka and throughout the New Zealand tour to Port Chalmers. In addition to maintaining close station on BRITANNIA while at sea OTAGO provided ceremonial and security sentries while the Royal yacht was in port.

24. HMNZS ROTOITI supplemented the Royal escort from the Bay of Islands to Auckland, acted as guard ship for the Royal regatta in Auckland, and was stationed in the Tasman Sea in readiness for search and rescue duties for the Royal flight from Harewood to Canberra.

25. The motor launches of the Fishery Protection Squadron and of the Reserve Divisions acted as guard boats at Waitangi and in Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Picton, and Dunedin.

26. HMNZS PHILOMEL provided the Royal guard and colour party for the visit to the Naval Base in August of Their Majesties King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit of Thailand. The band of the RNZN also participated. HMNZS MAKO and the motor launch attached to the Auckland RNZNVR Division escorted the Royal barge from Admiralty Steps to the PHILOMEL landing.



27. The Hydrographer, RNZN. and the Chief Civil Hydrographic Officer represented New Zealand at the Eighth International Hydrographic Conference held at Monaco from 8 to 18 May. Delegations of 38 maritime nations attended the conference, which dealt extensively with international cooperation in the field of hydrography. A directing committee of the International Hydrographic Bureau was elected to serve for the next five years. The New Zealand officers afterwards proceeded to London where preliminary agreement was reached on a plan to integrate the charting activities of Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

28. New charts were published for Oamaru Harbour and Approaches and for Approaches to Opua. A new edition of the Chart Catalogue and List of Symbols and Abbreviations was published and eight charts were revised and reprinted.

29. The publication of New Zealand Notices to Mariners was taken over from the Marine Department on 1 January.

30. Fifty-eight sales agencies in New Zealand and six overseas were supplied by the Chart Depot, Auckland. Sales totaled 7,638 charts during 1962 and revenue £2,905. Services issues were 1,114 charts.

31. A display was mounted at the Exhibition of Cartography, Palmerston North University College, from 3 to 7 December. Two shop windows were dressed in Wellington with displays of hydrographic interest.

32. A tidal library on microfilm was maintained for 10 ports and tidal stations, enabling daily graphs to be inspected with a microfilm reader.


33. In the earlier part of the year, from the beginning of April to the middle of June, a survey of the north-eastern approaches to Whangarei was carried out and Parengarenga Harbour bar conditions and a reported shoal off the Wairarapa coast were investigated.

34. In June the ship took part in the Auckland Festival Maritime Exhibition and was visited by 25,000 members of the public.

35. In July LACHLAN sailed from New Zealand for operation “Look First” at Funafuti Atoll in the Ellice Islands, returning in September after carrying out surveys of wartime minefields in Fongafale Anchorage in Funafuti Atoll and a survey of Naikorokoro Anchorage in Kandavu Island.

36. From early November to February, LACHLAN was surveying the south-eastern approaches to Whangarei and carrying out other hydrographic work in the Hauraki Gulf area.

37. In February LACHLAN took part in the Royal visit to the Bay of Islands and the Waitangi ceremonies, afterwards continuing the survey off the Taranaki coast.


38. Both vessels operated off Whangarei and in the Bay of Islands until the Royal visit there and the Waitangi ceremonies, in both of which they participated. They then took passage to Wellington and commenced tidal stream surveys of French Pass and Tory Channel.


39. The Royal Navy Flag Officer, Submarines, Rear-Admiral H. S. McKenzie, D.S.O. AND BAR, D.S.C., visited New Zealand in April to discuss the latest policy on anti-submarine warfare.

40. Admiral Sir David Luce, K.C.B., D.S.O., O.B.E., Commander-in-Chief, Far East Station, and Vice-Admiral W. H. Harrington, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., Chief of Naval Staff, Australia, visited New Zealand in August for discussions with the Naval Board.


41. HM Ships TIGER and LOCH KILLISPORT paid operational visits to New Zealand in October. HMS TIGER, wearing the flag of Vice-Admiral J. A. Frewen, C.B., Flag Officer Second-in-Command of the Far East Station, called at Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton, Dunedin, and Milford. HMS LOCH KILLISPORT visited Auckland, Wellington, Gisborne, Timaru, and Bluff.

42. HMA Ships VAMPIRE and VENDETTA visited Auckland, Napier, and Lyttelton during October and November. HMS COOK and HM Submarine TAPIR took part in the Waitangi Day celebrations.

43. HMS CAVALIER paid an operational visit to Auckland during February and March.


44. Four destroyers of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force visited Wellington in July on the first post-war visit to New Zealand of Japanese warships. The four ships, TERIZUKI, HARUSAME, ARIAKE, and YUGURE, comprised a Training Squadron carrying 162 newly commissioned ensigns, and commanded by Rear-Admiral Noburu Nagai. The French sloop FRANCIS GARNIER visited Wellington in December flying the flag of Rear-Admiral de Scitivaux de Greische. It is hoped to initiate exercises with French Pacific ships participating in future.



45. The officer strength of 288 remained similar to that of last year. It is a matter of concern that the recruitment of officer cadets has progressively worsened over the years, culminating in the entry of no general list cadets at all this year. As the cadet training scheme is the source of career officers for the Navy a comprehensive survey is being made of ways and means of enhancing the attraction of the Navy to boys of superior quality. Investigations have been made into the officer career structure with the object of improving conditions of service and finding other methods of alleviating the serious shortage of cadets.


46. On 31 March the total strength of male ratings was 2,465, of whom 302 were undergoing initial training. There were three RN ratings on loan to the RNZN for specialized duties.


47. The WRNZNS plays a very useful part in manning shore establishments of the RNZN. The WRNZNS strength on 31 March was eight officers and 101 ratings, an increase on the previous year. Recruiting was satisfactory.


48. The total number of entries during the year was 326 including 12 ex Royal Navy personnel recruited in the United Kingdom and one rating transferred from the Royal Navy on compassionate grounds. This represented a decrease from the previous year, but the quality of recruits showed an overall improvement.

49. Artificer apprentice recruiting showed a healthy improvement during the year, the overall standard of candidates being particularly high. The entry of 21 apprentices was a record.


50. The following honours and awards were made during the year:

Ordinary Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire:
Commander John Foster McKenzie.
Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire:
Commander John Graham Williamson.
British Empire Medal (Military Division):
Chief Petty Officer Patrick Hartley Barker.
Chief Electrician Albert Bernard Carpenter.
Chief Petty Officer Owen Leslie Clotworthy.
Chief Engine Room Artificer Norman Noel Dewson.
Petty Officer Cook Rex Harold Helleur.
Chief Petty Officer Frederick Maxwell Jacobs.
Chief Engine Room Artificer Daniel Sheldrake.
Chief Electrician Ralph Roland Wheeler.

Ordinary Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire:
Commander John Bernard Smith, V.R.D.
Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire:
Lieutenant Commander (SP) Robert Stewart Fleming.


51. Construction began of eight houses for the RNZN on the Ocean View Estate, Takapuna, to occupy eight of the remaining nine sections there. Forty-two sections were purchased at Bishop’s Block No. 1, Northcote, for later construction of up to 50 houses and flats.

52. Two more houses in Calliope Road, Devonport, overlooking the Naval Base, were purchased to provide greater security and space for future development, and accommodation meantime.

53. Construction of the new stores and accommodation block in HMNZS PHILOMEL is expected to be completed within a year.



54. A total of 403 ratings received initial disciplinary and technical training in HMNZS TAMAKI and HMNZS PHILOMEL during the year, and 93 officers and 1,211 ratings underwent advanced training at HMNZS PHILOMEL.

55. At 31 March 1963, 76 artificer apprentices were under training in RN establishments and in HMNZS PHILOMEL.

56. During the year a Fleet Examination Centre was established in HMNZS PHILOMEL to set, mark, and coordinate all RNZN examinations.


57. The training of officer cadets and advanced courses for some officers and ratings has continued to be undertaken in Australia and the United Kingdom.



58. Modernisation of the transmitter station at HMNZS IRIRANGI, the Naval Wireless Station at Waiouru, was completed, enabling the station to use the more modem methods now employed on the remainder of the Commonwealth world-wide strategic communication network and expediting the handling of naval and commercial signal traffic.

59. HMNZS IRIRANGI and the Naval Communications Centre at Wellington operated satisfactorily as the New Zealand terminal for traffic connected with the Royal tour. Naval and commercial traffic handled by these two stations during the year totalled 139,984 messages.


60. The fitting of a new generation of shipborne communication equipment in the Commonwealth Navies proceeded. This will provide greater reliability and security and more effective operational control over long distances.


61. Efficient communications are of prime importance in the success of Commonwealth and SEATO exercises, in which RNZN ships participate. Training was directed towards making the communications complements of ships capable of providing this essential factor.

62. A SEATO exercise in the control of shipping was conducted from Canberra and New Zealand shore stations, and ships were fully tested in handling the large amount of traffic generated.



63. The ship refitting commitments, which continued to increase, provided an extremely full programme for the Dockyard. Some work, particularly the overhauling of the modern engineering and electronic equipment of HMNZS OTAGO, was hampered by the lack of adequate shop facilities. The present Dockyard workshop facilities will need to be extended and modernised if Otago-class frigates are to continue to be refitted in time for them to fulfil operational requirements.


(a) Major Vessels
(1) HMNZS OTAGO was given her first refit since commissioning, and the challenge of refitting and overhauling her modem equipment was met. Inadequate facilities resulted in the refit taking longer than the scheduled time. A feature of the work was the installation of the Seacat guided weapon system – the first in a frigate of the Commonwealth Navies.
(2) HMNZ Loch-class frigates ROTOITI and PUKAKI were given biennial refits, including structural repairs and overhauls of mechanical, electrical, and gunnery equipment.
(3) HMNZS LACHLAN was docked and given a routine annual refit. The ship’s generating capacity was increased to improve operational efficiency.
(4) HMNZS ROYALIST was also docked for routine work and repairs.
(5) HMNZS TARANAKI was given emergency repairs prior to her departure for the Far East Station.
(6) HMNZS KANIERE was docked for routine maintenance and renewal of rivets in the hull plating.
(7) HMNZS ENDEAVOUR completed her reactivation refit in the United States and on arrival in Auckland was docked and her propellers changed for Antarctic service. During the Antarctic season, ENDEAVOUR sustained hull damage from exceptional ice conditions and was docked to effect emergency repairs and to assess the necessity of further repairs to prepare for the next Antarctic season. During this period in dock the fitting of equipment for the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and improvements to the crew’s living accommodation were made.

(b) Minor Vessels
(1) RNZF A TUI was docked and refitted and her research equipment modified.
(2) HMNZ Ships KIAMA, INVERELL, ECHUCA, STAWELL, and the Diving Tender MANAWANUI were docked for painting.
(3) The Fishery Protection Launches MAKO, PAEA, and MANGA were slipped, first for refitting and later for fitting for whale surveying duties.
(4) The Survey Motor Launches, TAKAPU and T ARAPUNGA were slipped for routine refits.
(5) The RNZNVR Launch NGAPONA was also slipped and PEGASUS was given a major refit, which included the provision of improved equipment for training purposes.

(c) Auxiliary Craft
(1) One seaward defence motor launch was given a major overhaul and strengthened to prolong its life.
(2) The stores carrier LANDER was surveyed and a life of only six months assessed. Temporary repairs were effected to enable her to assist with the move of HMNZS TAMAKI, the new entry training establishment. No requirement for a replacement was foreseen.
(3) HAURAKI, which has been employed to service lighthouses for Marine Department, is 58 years old and now at the end of her useful life.
(4) Routine maintenance was carried out on all other craft used by the Dockyard and by HMNZS TAMAKI.


64. Quantities of stores were shipped to America for the commissioning of the new ENDEAVOUR, resulting in a worth-while saving of dollars.

65. Two whalers were loaned to the Outward Bound establishment at Picton to assist in getting the movement started.

66. The old HMNZS ENDEAVOUR was sold to a Canadian buyer.


67. During the year the Head Office of the Department occupied an additional 4,000 sq. ft. of space on the first floor of the Departmental Building, Wellington, and completed alterations and renovations to this extra accommodation, enabling all of Navy Office to be brought under one roof.