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Gaining Momentum – Update

Matt King, MP for Northland is asking some very pertinent questions of the Minister of Veteran Affairs.  We look forward to the Minister’s response.

04 Oct 2019 – 34406 (2019). Matt King to the Minister for VeteransWhat is the average time taken to process applications for review of entitlements, if any, by review officers at Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, as at 4 October 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The average time length of time to process an application is 65 working days. This includes the time taken to seek additional information if this is required.

04 Oct 2019 – 34407 (2019). Matt King to the Minister for VeteransHow many FTE review officers, if any, are employed by Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: As at 4 October 2019 the resourcing for reviews of decisions is 0.8 FTE.

04 Oct 2019 – 34411 (2019). Matt King to the Minister for Veterans How old is the oldest outstanding application for a review of entitlements, if any, by Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, as at 4 October 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: Veterans’ Affairs had 47 reviews of decisions outstanding as at 4 October 2019.

04 Oct 2019 – 34410 (2019). Matt King to the Minister for VeteransHow many applications for review of entitlements, if any, are being assessed by review officers at Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, as at 4 October 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The oldest complete application for review was received ten months ago.

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Navy Decommissions two Inshore Patrol Vessels

Two Royal New Zealand Navy Inshore Patrol Vessels, HMNZS Pukaki and HMNZS Rotoiti, were decommissioned today at a formal ceremony at Devonport Naval Base in Auckland.

The decommissioning of the two Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) was signalled in the Defence Capability Plan that was publicly released earlier this year. In the plan, the intention to remove two of the four Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) IPVs from service and dispose of them was explained.

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor said operational experience with the IPVs had shown that specific tasks required of the naval patrol force were better conducted by the RNZN’s larger Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). “At the time of their entry into service, the IPVs provided operational capability around our coastline. But now we have a far greater need to project a presence further afield and that’s something these ships simply weren’t built to do,” Rear Admiral Proctor said.

Constructed in Whangarei and commissioned in 2009, the four IPVs, HMNZ ships Hawea, Taupo, Rotoiti and Pukaki, have been deployed on fishery monitoring, search and rescue, border security and maritime surveillance around New Zealand’s coastline and, occasionally, further afield.

Regulatory changes in 2012 resulted in operating restrictions around speed and sea states being imposed on them, although the RNZN sometimes granted a waiver. Subsequently, the RNZN assessed them as no longer being suited to the heavy seas typically encountered off New Zealand and further afield.

“The Navy identified that a better capability outcome would be achieved using the current OPVs, HMNZS Otago and Wellington, supplemented with a planned Southern Ocean Patrol Vessel in the mid-2020s,” Rear Admiral Proctor said. The two remaining IPVs would continue to play a role in providing local fishery monitoring and border protection patrols, as well as providing important Officer of the Watch training and command opportunities for junior officers, he said.

A project team has been set up to investigate disposal options for the two IPVs and to manage the process. A final decision is expected next year on the best method of disposal.
Rear Admiral Proctor was joined at the decommissioning ceremony by former Commanding Officers and crew of the two IPVs.

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Chinese Built Carrier

China’s domestically built Type 001A aircraft carrier has embarked on its eighth sea trial local media reported based on online photos of its departure from its base in Dalian Shipyard in Northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

The trail is the last before its induction into the Chinese Navy, local military experts said. The Type 001A aircraft carrier has in previous trials tested aircraft landing and take off besides its communication systems.

The eighth sea trial could examine if the warship is ready for final delivery and if problems encountered in previous trials have been eliminated.

A navigation restriction notice released by the Maritime Safety Administration of China on Saturday said a military mission is scheduled from Monday evening to October 22 in the Bohai Sea, which also led military observers to believe the aircraft carrier is on a sea trial, according to similar notices released in previous sea trials,” Global Times reported.

The Type 001A is expected to the core of a battle-group intended to flex Chinese naval muscle in the South China sea.  Thanks Gordon for the article.

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Ngapona Newsletter

18 October 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Glen Eden RSA
18 October 19 – Trafalgar Day Luncheon at Te Atatu RSA
8 November 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
15 November 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Grey Lynn RSA
15 – 17 November 19 – Terra Australis Conference at DNB
13 December 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
13 December 19 – Maritime Societies’ Annual Dinner, Northern Club at 1830
20 December 19 – Ngapona Assn Xmas Lunch at Orakei RSA

Our lunch this month is at the Glen Eden RSA this Friday. We will meet at 1200hrs. Some of our members will be attending the Trafalgar Lunch at the Te Atatu RSA.


NAVAL ships from 14 countries around the world are expected to gather at Faslane over the next few days ahead of the latest Joint Warrior training exercise. More than 3,700 military personnel, 52 aircraft, 15 warships and three submarines from 14 countries will take part in the exercise between October 6 and 17.

BAE Systems Australia model of first Australian Navy Type 26 frigate HMAS HUNTER (F101) on display at the Naval Conference PACIFIC 2019 that was held in Sydney. The conference is Australia’s global maritime business event, attracting senior merchant marine, shore services, maritime and defence industry, military and government decision-makers from around the world. The conference ran between October 8 and 10, 2019.


HMNZS Canterbury (F421) was one of two broad beam Leander-class frigates operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) from 1971 to 2005. She was built in Scotland and launched in 1970. Commissioned in 1971, Canterbury saw operational service in much of Australasia and other regions like the Persian Gulf. She undertook operations such as supporting UN sanctions against Iraq and peace-keeping in East Timor. With her sister ship HMNZS Waikato she relieved the Royal Navy frigate HMS Amazon in the Indian Ocean during the Falklands War. Early in HMNZS Canterbury’s career she relieved the frigate HMNZS Otago at Moruroa during anti-nuclear protests, in 1973, F421 is the most effectively insulated frigate, from nuclear fallout, with the Improved Broad Beam Leander steam plant, for e.g., being remote controlled and capable of unmanned operation and therefore the ship had a more effective sealed citadel for operations in areas of nuclear explosions.

Canterbury was decommissioned in 2005. In 2007 she was scuttled in the Bay of Islands to provide a dive wreck. She lies in 38 metres (125 ft) of water.

During her time in service, she travelled about 960,000 nautical miles (44 circumnavigations of the Earth), and was the temporary home for 559 officers and 3,269 ratings.


On 13th October 1943, Captain Stanley Jupp USN, Commanding Officer of the USN Naval Operation Base (NOB), Auckland, under the Commander of the South Pacific Area (COMSOPAC), was promoted to Commodore. The NOB was based in the Government Building in Jean Batten Place and the officers were quartered in the Grand Hotel in Princes Street. The 500 sailors on the staff were in a hastily constructed camp at Mechanics Bay. The NOB closed on 22 October 1944.

Mechanics Bay – 1943. The area inside the Eastern Tide Deflector is now the Container Terminal.

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A Question of Motuihe

Motuihe closed in 1963 but when did the Communications School close?

Did comms ratings live at Tamaki and travel to North Head prior to 1963?

When did North Head open for business?

Is there anyone out there who joined as a Communicator between 1959 and 1963 and if so where did you do your training?.

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Now Here is a Good Parliamentary Question

This question has been asked by Matt King Member for Northland and can’t wait for the response!!

34406 (2019). Matt King to the Minister for Veterans (04 Oct 2019): What is the average time taken to process applications for review of entitlements, if any, by review officers at Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand, as at 4 October 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: Reply due: 14 Oct 2019 

Here are some comments which have been posted on Facebook about this particular question.  Leave a comment to this blog if you have experienced inordinate delays in answering queries from this Government Department.

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