Over the weekend the RNZN celebrated its 70th anniversary and in order to celebrate, the capital hosted 11 of the Navy’s 12 ships.
Saturday marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal New Zealand Navy on 1 October 1941.
To celebrate the anniversary the Navy held a ceremonial changing of the Queen’s Colour at Parliament Grounds, and then paraded through Wellington City to Civic Square with with drums beating, band playing, colours flying, bayonets fixed and swords drawn.
The ceremonial party included two 100 person Royal Guards of Honour, two Colour Guards and a number of platoons of personnel, including the RNZN Band.
Since earliest times, warriors have carried standards or flags as a distinguishing mark and to serve as a rallying point during battle. Loss of the standard often meant defeat. Protection of the standard was vital to the cause and to the tradition of the unit, which it belonged.
The first naval colour was presented to the Royal Navy in 1924 and the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1926. King George VI granted a new colour in 1936, which was replaced by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Following the introduction of the New Zealand White Ensign in 1968, a new colour was presented to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) in 1970. This colour was replaced on 23 September 1991, in a ceremony at Queens Wharf, Wellington.
The ships in Wellington over the weekend were:
Anzac Class Frigates: TE MANA ( F111) and TE KAHA (F77)
Fleet Replenishment Vessel ENDEAVOUR (A 11)
Sealift and Amphibious Support Vessel CANTERBURY (L421)
Offshore Patrol Vessels OTAGO (P148) and WELLINGTON (P55)
Inshore Patrol Vessels PUKAKI (P3568), ROTOITI (P 3569), TAUPO (P 3570) and HAWEA (P 3571)
Hydrographic Vessel: RESOLUTION (A 14).
The Diving Support Vessel MANAWANUI remained in Auckland during the review.
On the Saturday a number of ships were open to the general public and these were HMNZS Te Kaha, HMNZS Canterbury, HMNZS Wellington, HMNZS Hawea and HMNZS Rotoiti.
I got up early on Friday morning to see some of the ships coming into the harbour in the bright morning sunshine and managed to get a few pictures too which was good, especially given that on Saturday thousands of people were all over the ships during the open day and on Sunday there was torrential rain!
More pictures in my Flickr set here.