Name / Title Piupiu
Piupiu gifted to Captain Halsey (Royal Navy) of HMS NEW ZEALAND when the ship visited New Zealand in 1913. HMS NEW ZEALAND was a battlecruiser, funded by the Government of New Zealand, and commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1912. It is uncertain as to which Maori chief presented the piupiu but it may be Te Arawa or Ngai Tahu. The prophecy given at the time it was presented was that if worn in battle it would protect the ship. Worn by the Commanding Officer (Halsey) at the battles of Dogger Bank and Heligoland, and by Capt Green at the Battle of Jutland, 1916. Left by Admiral Halsey to his daughter, Miss Ruth Halsey. Bequeathed in her will to return to New Zealand. Received by Navy Museum July 2005.
Dimensions – Mounted on backing 1167 x 735 mm
Owned by Trust Board of the National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy (Navy Museum).
Formerly on long-term display at the Navy Museum, Torpedo Bay, Devonport.
Details of any publication
Navy Museum (2007). A Charmed Life’. The White Ensign, Winter 2007 (02), pp.8-9
Morey, K.A. (2008). Service from the Sea (pp.10-11, 227). Auckland: Penguin Group.
WTFN Entertainment (2015). Auckland [TV series season 1 episode 3]. In Tony Robinson’s
Tour of Duty. Australia: History Channel.
Thermal top and long johns issued to and worn by William J.L Smith during time spent in Antarctica with the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).
Commander W.J.L. ‘Kiwi’ Smith had a distinguished naval career, serving in midget submarines during World War Two and eventually becoming the Head of Hydrographic Branch for the RNZN. His medals are on display in the museum.
In 1956, the RNZN was tasked with supporting the multi-national Commonwealth Trans–Antarctic Expedition (CTAE). HMNZS Endeavour 1 with William ‘Kiwi’ Smith as First Lieutenant, was commissioned as a supply ship and departed for Antarctica on
15 December 1956 carrying an expedition support team led by Sir Edmund Hillary. As well as transporting personnel, the RNZN assisted in the construction of Scott Base and supplying provisions for teams staying there.
The New Zealand Defence Force continues to provide personnel to assist with New Zealand’s scientific programme at Scott Base. In addition, HMNZS Wellington visited McMurdo Sound in 2011 during its patrol of New Zealand’s sub–Antarctic waters.
Donated by William .J.L. Smith.
The Museum holds an extensive and wide-ranging collection of naval uniforms, encompassing all ranks and trades. The Museum also actively collects a range of everyday work wear, leisurewear and even military-issued underwear. Accessories include kitbags, buttons, cap tallies (ribbons), bedding, and housewives (sailors sewing kits).