Visitor Feedback

We do follow up on your experience! Here are some of our visitor’s comments.


              I think… this museum is amazing, learned heaps.  
              Very well organised place with the space you have.

              I remember… the ANZAC spirit is truly unbreakable – side by side,    
              united. We owe them everything. Much Love & Respect. – Greg, Adelaide

                  I think… that everything in this amazing museum is  well… amazing. It was
                  a privilege to experience looking at it. – Corrin

                  I think… it is the most beautiful museum I have ever been to so I
                  will go back again with my girlfriend. – Khaled, Saudi Arabia



             I think… this place is interesting and that it deserves
             more attention. Also very educating for children my 
             age and under. – Stefanie, Sydney

             I think… this was a very moving experience – thinking of my father
             who served all through the war. – Angela, England

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got free time

Situations Vacant

Working for the Navy Museum has many benefits, one being the daily reminder that you are not working for just any organisation – you never know when the Navy Band will march past your office at full volume, a 21 gun salute will go off at the Naval Base or the Fleet Divisions are held, quite a spectacular sight!

Current Vacancies:

Casual Wait Staff [pdf 67 kb]


Please contact us if you’d like to hear more.

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At present we are not calling for volunteers, but may be in the future. If you would like to stay informed about volunteering opportunities, please contact us.


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Board of Trustees


Honorary Captain Mr. Brian Corban, CNZM, QSO, MA (Hons), LLB, FIOD, FNZIM is Chairman of the Navy Museum Trust Board.

Brian is a professional company director, lawyer, business and community leader.  He has experience in successfully leading companies through restructuring and deregulatory changes.  He is currently Chairman of several companies including Radio New Zealand, the Melanesian Mission Trust Board, Ngatarawa Wines, and General Power Limited.  He is also a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.

In 2000 Brian was appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

Executive Trustee

Deputy Chief of Navy is Executive Trustee of the Navy Museum Trust Board.

Commodore Wayne Burroughs was born and raised in Hamilton. In 1978 he joined the Royal New Zealand Navy and completed his university training (Bachelor of Commerce) at University of Auckland.

His early naval career was initially spent undertaking bridge watch-keeping duties at sea. He was appointed Executive Officer of the patrol craft HMNZS TAUPO in 1981 and briefly as Commanding Officer in late 1982. 

In 1983 he undertook Supply Officer training and transferred to the Supply specialisation in November 1983. He undertook supply officer staff duties ashore in Wellington and Auckland. He was posted as Supply Officer HMNZS CANTERBURY (1989-1991) and HMNZS SOUTHLAND (1991-92). In 1994 Commodore Burroughs was appointed Director of Corporate Planning in the Maritime Headquarters. He was part of a small team that implemented a priority based budgeting system which lead to innovative changes to the organisation. This was followed two years later by promotion to Commander and appointment as Fleet Supply Officer. 

Commodore Burroughs was Project Director for a major supply chain re-engineering project in 1999/2000. This resulted in significant efficiencies and improved performance levels.  He was subsequently appointed Supply Chain Manager in October 2000. Commodore Burroughs has also been a leading advocate of the Naval Excellence programme within Navy. The Nx programme adopted the Baldrige Criteria for Business Excellence as the framework for organisational improvement. He was appointed the first Director of Naval Excellence in 2001. 

Commodore Burroughs was appointed Captain Fleet Support in December 2002. During his period as Captain Fleet Support, Commodore Burroughs was the lead negotiator for the letting of the Dockyard Management Contract to VT Fitzroy Ltd in June 2004. In August 2004, Commodore Burroughs directed the first phase of a major re-engineering project in the Engineering organisation of the Navy.

Commodore Burroughs was appointed Captain Fleet Personnel and Training in February 2005. 

In 2006 he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, graduating with an MA. He returned to Wellington in 2007 and worked on the staff of CDF as a member of the Baseline Review team and then the resulting Defence Transformation Programme Team. Commodore Burroughs was posted into the HQNZDF Plans Branch in October 2008 and led the annual resource allocation process for the NZDF. In July 2009 he had a six month operational posting as the Senior National Officer in Timor Leste, responsible for the NZDF forces in theatre. He also held the post of Deputy Commander of the International Stabilisation Force.

On return from Timor Leste Commodore Burroughs was posted back to the Defence Transformation Programme team tasked to bring the Defence Logistics Command into existence on 1 Jul 10, and then posted as its Chief of Staff.

In his own time he is a keen golfer and optimistic novice trout fisherman. He is married to Jill and has three adult children.

Rear Admiral Tony Parr, MVO, RNZN

Rear Admiral Tony Parr was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 4 August 1955. He was raised in Fiji and attended New Plymouth Boys High School as a boarder. Having graduated from Waikato University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Social Science in politics and after completing the first year of a Bachelor of Law degree in 1979, he joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in January 1980 in the rank of Sub Lieutenant in the Seaman Branch.

Between January 1980 and August 1982, he underwent training ashore in HMNZS TAMAKI and at sea in HMNZ Ships TARANAKI and CANTERBURY. On obtaining his Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate, he was appointed as a Bridge Watchkeeping Officer in CANTERBURY in August 1982. While serving in this frigate, he qualified as a Helicopter Approach Controller.

In December 1983, he was appointed in Command of the Lake Class Patrol Craft, HMNZS PUKAKI before returning to HMNZS WELLINGTON as a Watchkeeping Officer in 1985. From November 1985 to March 1986, Rear Admiral Parr was involved firstly in the preparations for Her Majesty The Queen’s 1986 visit to New Zealand, and then as New Zealand Equerry to the Queen. He was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) for his services during this visit.

In March 1986 he returned to WELLINGTON as a Watchkeeping Officer and following this was posted to HMNZS WAIKATO in the same capacity. Between January and December 1987, he attended a Surface Warfare Officer course in Australia and on completion he remained in Australia for two years’ exchange service with the Royal Australian Navy. During this time he served in Her Majesty’s Australian Ships WATSON, ADELAIDE & PARRAMATTA.

In December 1989 Rear Admiral Parr returned from Australia and joined CANTERBURY as Principal Warfare Officer in January 1990. In October that year, he was posted for the Staff of the Commodore Auckland as Staff Officer Communications. In November 1991, he was appointed as the Executive Officer, WAIKATO until November 1993 when he was appointed as the Deputy Officer Training School Officer, HMNZS TAMAKI. Between October and November 1995, he successfully completed a Maritime Tactical Course before being promoted to Commander and as Commanding Officer, WAIKATO.

He was appointed as the Fleet Personnel Officer in June 1997 and thereafter became the first Commanding Officer of the ANZAC Class frigate HMNZS TE MANA on 17 August 1998. He relinquished command in April 2001. Since leaving TE MANA, he has served at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand. On 13 March 2002, he was promoted to Captain and appointed as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel) and Provost Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

In January 2003 he was granted the acting rank of Commodore and deployed as the Senior National Officer, National Planning Element, Headquarters, US Central Command, Tampa, Florida. In June the same year, having returned to New Zealand, he resumed the post of Assistant Chief of Navy (Personnel) and relinquished his acting rank. In December 2003 he was appointed as the Assistant Chief of Navy (Capability). He attended the Defence Strategic Studies Course in Australia and on his return in January 2006 he was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Chief (Personnel). On 1 May 2006 he was promoted to Commodore and appointed Deputy Chief of Navy, a position he held until 30 November 2007 when he was appointed Maritime Component Commander. He received the rank of Rear Admiral and was promoted to Chief of Navy on 30 April 2009.

Rear Admiral Parr is married with two children.

Robert Campbell Croker QSO, FCIS, CA

Robert Croker is Chairman of Trustees of the New Zealand National Maritime Museum and ex Chairman of Trustees of the Northcote Retirement Village – a significant charitable trust which also includes a rest home and geriatric hospital.  Robert was the first Chairman of Partners of Ernst & Young, New Zealand, Chartered Accountants and was senior audit partner and corporate financial consultant on retirement.  He was also ex Chairman of Richmond Limited, a publicity listed company in the meat industry and ex Chairman of Rimanui Farms Limited, a substantial private farming company.

Other interests include: life membership of Auckland War Memorial Museum, Friends of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Outward Bound and Youthtown.  Currently treasurer and executive member of the Remuera Bowling Club.

Rear Admiral David Ledson, ONZM, RNZN (Rtd)

Rear Admiral David Ledson retired on 30 April 2009 as Chief of Navy. He has agreed to be a member of the Navy Museum Board of Trustees.

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torpedo bay 1973

Torpedo Bay History

Torpedo Bay and North Head, 1973
Torpedo Bay is a site that has attracted many people through time and it’s no wonder why. Its position at the mouth of the Waitemata Harbour and was long ago recognised as an excellent vantage point for defence. It also provides spectacular views for modern day café patrons and picnickers. Tucked in the South West base of North Head, Torpedo Bay offers shelter, both from prospective enemy fire as well as from winds off the harbour. The fertile, free draining volcanic soil was as attractive to the first settlers from Polynesia as it is to the modern inhabitants of Devonport’s waterfront villas. The following is a very brief history of Torpedo Bay.

Early History

Tradition tells us Kupe, the great navigator, landed here in 950. He gave it the name Te Haukapua (cloud carried along by wind).

1150  Toi Te Hautahi came to Te Haukapua. His grandson, Uika, settled on the hill above, so giving it the name Maungauika (Uika’s hill). It would later become known as North Head.

1350  Chief Hoturoa landed here in the Tainui Waka, part of the Great Fleet of seven waka.
A hundred years later there were four volcanic cone pa sites in the area.
For the next 300 years, Ngati Paua and Ngapuhi inhabited the area at different times.
The 19th Century

19th Century

1827  Dumont D’urville landed L’Astrolabe in the bay. He wrote “disappointed in finding the area unpopulated.”

1835  Descendants of the Takapuna people came back to live in the area.

1858  George Beddoes established a shipbuilding yard under North Head.

1860  A Naval Artillery Volunteer Corps with responsibility for harbour defence was established at Devonport.

1863  Outbreak of war in the Waikato saw the people of Te Haukapua leave Haukapua by waka overnight.

1867  The New Zealand Torpedo Corps formed No. 2 Company of the Permanent Militia. They had the responsibility for construction and maintenance of harbour mine defences.

1878  First of the ‘Russian Scares.’ There was a real and present fear of the invasion and dominance of the Imperial Russian Navy.

Torpedo Defence

“A field of submarine mines should be laid across the harbour in the most convenient situation to prevent an enemy running at full speed past the batteries and up the harbour, to a position out of range of our guns whence he could fire into Auckland.”
Sir William Jervois, (then) Governor of New Zealand

1885  The submarine mining station at Torpedo Bay – so named because mines were called torpedoes then – was designed by Lt. Col. Tudor Boddam. A small section (0.06 ha) of land at the South West base of North Head was deemed the perfect location for a mining station.

20th Century

1904 – 1907  The Torpedo Bay depot was operational for a mere three years. Three strings of electro-contact mines were able to be deployed across the harbour, however it is not believed any mines were laid during this time.

1904-1905  The Russo-Japanese War saw the total defeat of the Russian Navy in the Pacific thus ending any naval threat to New Zealand by Russia.

1907  The submarine mining programme was abandoned and all equipment that was salvable was disposed of. The mining cable became used for telephone cable in Auckland.

1914-1918  The yard was used as accommodation and some of the buildings converted into detention cells. The most famous prisoner was Count Felix von Luckner who was held in a cell for one night after his recapture in 1917.

1920s  The wharf was rebuilt and buildings refurbished. The site was used for Army stores and unloading ammunition for North Head. In 1926 the main building was refurbished as a drill hall.

1930s  The last of the mines and guncotton were disposed of.

1939-1945  The yard remained in use as an Army store. The Army launch Bombardier was based here and used to supply personnel and stores to and from the various islands.

1958  The site was officially handed over to the RNZN.

1963  With the relocation of HMNZS Tamaki to Narrow Neck from Motuihe Island the sail training whalers were moored at the wharf at Torpedo Bay.

1960-2009  Torpedo Bay was used by the Sea Cadets, the RNZN Sailing Club and the RNZN Band.

2010  The site becomes the new home of the Navy Museum.

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The exterior of the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

About Us

The exterior of the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum
The exterior of the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

Our Vision

To enrich the lives of present and future generations with an awareness of New Zealand’s naval culture and heritage so that they honour the contribution New Zealand’s Sea Warriors have made to peace, security and prosperity.

Our Mission

To capture and preserve New Zealand’s naval culture and heritage for current and future generations through collection, preservation, presentation, education, research and scholarship.

History of the Navy Museum

The need for a Naval Museum grew with the increasing number of donations to the Navy by families of ex-navalmen during the early 1970s.  In 1974 the Commodore Auckland, J.F. McKenzie, directed the Commanding Officer of HMNZS PHILOMEL to make a surplus room available for use as a Museum and the institution was born.  The Museum was opened to naval personnel for 1 hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays and by arrangement for groups visiting the Naval Base.

The Museum’s policy was to display items of naval interest with the aim of creating and maintaining a permanent record of the history and development of the RNZN.  Advice was sought from the Auckland War Memorial Museum with respect to basic conservation and display techniques.

The Navy Museum at Spring Street

The interior of the Spring Street Navy Museum, 1982 – 2010

By 1981 the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral K.M. Saull, believed there should be a proper museum for the Navy.  A modest building on the edge of the Naval Base was chosen.

The Museum moved to Spring Street and was officially opened by Rear Admiral K.M. Saull on the 5th May 1982.

Almost immediately after the re-opening more room was needed. Public contributions, coupled with some fundraising enabled a modest extension to be built, which was opened in December 1989.

In May 1988 the Trust Board of the Royal New Zealand Navy Museum was established and the role of the Museum was amended to: “To be an educational and recreational facility that presents to the RNZN and the public in general, the naval influence on the history of New Zealand.”

In May 2010, 28 years after it opened, the Navy Museum at Spring Street closed the doors to the public for the final time.  For the next five months, exhibition designers, installers and Navy Museum staff prepared for Open Day at Torpedo Bay, 9th October 2010.

Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

The Second World War gallery at Torpedo Bay

Torpedo Bay, on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour in Devonport, is now the home of the Navy Museum.

Torpedo Bay itself is a site of exceptional significance, having been a key part of Auckland’s early defence system as well as having been continuously occupied by New Zealand military forces since 1880. Torpedo Bay is the most substantial and intact 19th century mining base to survive in New Zealand. Read more about Torpedo Bay history

Having relocated to Torpedo Bay in 2009, the Navy Museum is the newest chapter to the site’s extraordinary heritage, with the original 1896 buildings redeveloped to accommodate the Museum’s exhibitions and visitors.

Inside; in addition to an outstanding café, conference facility and education space, the permanent exhibitions showcase the story of the Navy’s contribution to the development of New Zealand’s identity through the lens of the Navy’s values – commitment, courage and comradeship. Our temporary gallery hosts a variety of programmes and exhibitions not to miss throughout the year.

As New Zealand’s only Navy Museum, the Torpedo Bay facility strongly complements other icons of New Zealand’s military, maritime and social heritage, such as the War Memorial Museum, Voyager Maritime Museum, North Head, Bastion Point and Auckland Art Gallery. Alongside Auckland’s other museums and heritage sites, this creates an unmatched cluster of valuable national historic facilities spanning both sides of the Waitemata Harbour.

The Navy Museum at Torpedo Bay is an important part of our local Devonport community, our regional community as part of the new Auckland City and our national community.

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