RNZN History

King George VI granted the title of Royal New Zealand Navy to the New Zealand naval forces on 1 October 1941. Read about the history of Naval Volunteers, the Torpedo Corps and the New Zealand Division of the Royal New Zealand Navy.Read More

RNZN Timeline

Read a timeline of events starting with 8 October 1769 – Lieutenant James Cook lands on Kaiti Beach and finishing with 13 June 2007 – the introduction of HMNZS Canterbury. 

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Women in the RNZN

In 1977, a working party was set up by the Ministry of Defence to analyse the policy of employing women in the Armed Forces as a result of the Human Rights Act which was passed into law that year. Read about the history of women in the RNZN.

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Timeline of Women in the RNZN

Learn about the history of women in the Navy from the establishment of the Women’s Royal New Zealand Naval Service (WRNZNS) in 1942 to Lieutenant Lisa Hunn becoming the first Principle Warfare Officer in 2002.

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Treaty of Waitangi and the Navy

Learn about the Navy’s involvement in Treaty of Waitangi events including the Charter that was presented to the RNZN On February 6 1990 at the 150th centennial for the Treaty of Waitangi.

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Kiwis In The Royal Navy

In the first half of the 20th century, the Royal Navy was the Empire’s Navy, and as the New Zealand Naval Forces developed like other Commonwealth navies, they were closely modelled on the RN – interoperability was essential.Read More

Drinking Culture in the RNZN 1950-1970s

Unlike the Army or RNZAF where you were able to go over to the Mess or Canteen or down to the pub at the end of the day, RNZN sailors were aboard ship for weeks at a time. The daily issue of beer aboard ship was two cans per man per day which had to be paid for.

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Charters and the RNZN

The Custom of granting freedom of a city is old and evolves from a military, rather than a naval background. Read about the history of charters and the different charter arrangements with the RNZN.

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Royal New Zealand Navy Battle Honours

Read a list of the Battle Honours awarded to the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy as of September 2013. All the other Battle Honours were awarded to the Royal Navy and were attached to names that were taken over by the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy.Read More

Royal Marine Bands in New Zealand Service

Learn about the Royal Marines Bands that had served with the RNZN for 36 years. A band first arrived for service with the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy aboard the cruiser HMS Dunedin in 1924. Read More

Royal New Zealand Navy and the 1951 Waterfront Strike

After the election, Prime Minister Sidney Holland sought to break the power of the Waterside Workers Union one of the most militant and communist dominated of the unions in New Zealand. Discontent and unrest reached a peak in February 1951 and the ship owners locked out the watersiders after a stopwork.Read More

Mini Mokes in the RNZN

HMNZS Waikato’s Moke is the only NZ Navy Moke remaining and after refurbishment, it now lies at the Navy Museum at Torpedo Bay.   Navy Mokes were used on all four RNZN Leander class Frigates (70’s through to early 80’s) for shore transport, administration duties and as the Captains in port runabout. Read More

Final Morse transmission of the RNZN

The navy has followed many countries in tossing the time-honoured technology overboard, now that higher-speed and more secure voice and computer commu­nications have rendered it obsolete.Read More

History of Chaplains

It is claimed that St Paul was the first Chaplain at sea (27th chapter of the Act of the Apostles) as a closely guarded prisoner who had “appealed unto Caesar.” St Paul can well be regarded as Patron Saint of Naval Chaplains.Read More

Boy Training in the NZ Division RN 1919-1939

The barquentine Amokura (ex HMS Sparrow) was purchased by the New Zealand Government in 1906. She was used to train boys for service in the Merchant Navy though a number entered the Royal and Royal Australian Navies.Read More

Report on effects of 1973 Mururoa nuclear testing

In 1973 the New Zealand government protested against French nuclear testing at Mururoa. The two-frigate protest sparked international pressure for the testing to stop, which forced the French to move to underground testing. Now, 42 years later, an independent report detailing likely exposure and risk from radiation is to be released in October 2015.

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HMS New Zealand Silk Ensign and Jack

Read about the Silk Ensign and Jack that was presented to HMS New Zealand in May 1913 by the Women of New Zealand. Prior to the war of 1914 they were displayed only on state occasions (about three times).Read More