There is a RN ship HMS Protector is visiting Lyttleton at the moment, it will be open to the public on Sunday. It's an ice strengthened ship, and has come north from a fisheries patrol down in the ice. It is the first RN visit in 80 years, 1936. isc
Forumites I originally posted this message on the foreign air forces thread some time ago as it was pointing out an analogous situation regarding founding of our Navy, but as it has elicited no response whatsoever, have decided to post it again in a more appropriate section.
Although the official title of our Navy was modified to its present style as from 1st October 1941, the actual date of its founding goes back a further twenty years, to 20th June 1921, when it was called the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. The (unintended?) implications of choosing this seemingly unambiguous title convinced the average citizen to assume that this service was still an integral part of the Royal Navy, and the outward appearance of the seagoing force of that time, with its British ships (HMS) largely manned by RN officers and ratings would tend to confirm this belief. However it WAS, despite all appearances to the contrary, a quite separate force, and ENTIRELY funded by the NZ tax payer; the normal running costs of these "loaned" ships on the strength of the NZ Division were funded entirely by NZ, although the ships themselves remained the property of the Admiralty. All "loaned" RN (and Royal Marine, RAF) personnel were funded by the NZ taxpayer at (usually higher) local pay rates, especially so in the case of ratings who comprised the bulk of loaned personnel. The tardy modification of the designation of this force, from NZ Division to RNZN as from 1st October 1941 was simply that, nothing else fundamentally changed, although the RN white ensign was retained (probably for sentimental reasons) until as late as 1968. It is understandable that many outside the service could truly believe that it was really a part of the Royal Navy, fortuitously based in out waters for our protection, at little direct cost to us. However this perception was entirely wrong. Follow the money, and the risks. In time of war, these Royal Navy assets reverted to full Admiralty control, and could be whisked off to anywhere in the World, to wherever their Lordships considered their presence was most required at that time. A local Navy was still considered valuable in New Zealand waters for local defence of course, but only by such forces as dictated by the perceived risks. Such ships as cruisers were too valuable to be tied down in a small and distant area when hostile vessels roamed the seven seas, and thus constituted an ever present risk to our own merchant ships and other communications, as well as British Empire wealth generally. By "adopting" two British six-inch cruisers, NZ taxpayers were "doing their bit" in this sense, as well as accepting partial responsibility for the construction of the major Singapore naval base (in fact we and Australia had more hard reasons to assist in the development of this base than did the UK), and we were still paying off the loan taken out against HMS New Zealand long after she had been scrapped. That was a sad tale.
Another sign of the weaning process of the RNZN from its parent occurred on 1st December 1966, when Commodore L B Carey, RNZN, succeeded Commodore F T Healey, RN, as Third Naval member and Chief of Naval Technical Services of the NZ Naval Board. "This appointment marked the end of an era in the history of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Up to this date, one or more of the Naval Board members have been officers of the Royal Navy. Now for the first time since the Naval Board was established 45 years ago, all Board members are New Zealanders." [from H-4, Annual Report, RNZN for 1966/67]. Any forumite interested in the background to the establishment of New Zealand Division of the RN can read about it in Ian McGibbon's "Blue-water Rationale" (published by Historical Publications Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1981, particularly pages 58 to 65). Incidentally the NZ Naval Board was established on 14th March 1921, some 3 months prior to the creation of the NZ Division which it was intended to control. If the NZDF gets its act together, it could celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RNZN (aka NZ Div) in just five years time! The RNZAF celebrated its 50th and 75th Anniversaries based on its creation as a separate service (1/4/37) rather than its change of name to its present title (in February 1934) without any problem at all.
PS, I had not overlooked the brief existence of the earlier attempt to form a local Naval force in 1913 - that was a victim of terribly unfortunate timing (outbreak of the Great War), nor of the even earlier small inland navy set up during the "troubles" in Colonial New Zealand, which is briefly covered in the appendices to the Official History of the RNZN in WW2. The 1913 attempt at forming a Navy was aborted for obvious reasons, so had no continuity, whereas the 1921 effort has seen an unbroken period of sea-going service and organisation since that date. All official records and publications on the history of the RNZ Navy make but scant mention of the events of October 1941, which is also the case in the history of the RNZAF with reference to the actions of February 1934. The Navy was unfortunately a laggard in respect of its attempts to appear to be a true New Zealand effort, which is a shame as this is precisely what has resulted in the present situation. No disrespect is intended towards the Royal Navy/British government with respect to this perception, it is entirely New Zealand's fault, and this seems to have it origins in its attempts to appear to be viewed (in all Imperial quarters) as a true British lion cub.
Post by Dave Homewood on May 21, 2016 13:31:20 GMT 12
I cannot find anything on Papers past on or around the 20th of June 1921 announcing the formation of a separate Navy called the "New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy". Strange, that should have been big news with the nation getting it's own navy. Back then the Navy was pretty relevant. Do you have that date right?
The date is 100% correct; try Blue Water Rationale by Ian McGibbon, page 64, although it is worth reading all of Chapter III (The Jellicoe Mission). This covers developments from 1919 onwards till the setting up of the NZ Division. Also see in the NZ Official War History Volume The Royal New Zealand Navy by S D Waters, Chapter I, pages 8, 9. The changes in name would also have been promulgated in the pages of the NZ Gazette. Only the New Zealand newspapers seem to have overlooked this momentous event. Even most commercial books on subject of RNZN history will have this information, although only some authors "get it" as to what actually happened. In the "understand" group can be counted Bob McDougall and Grant Howard, along with McGibbon of course. Those that did not include Ross Gillett (Australia) and practically all other overseas authors. Typical of their understanding is Gillett, who on page 274 of Australian and New Zealand Warships (1914 - 1945), states: "The need for an independent naval force, as distinct from Royal Navy ships on loan to the Dominion, was satisfied in July, 1941, when the RNZN was formally established by Royal Decree. As a first step, all ships currently serving with the New Zealand Division and those ordered and active with the Government for war service, were integrated into the new Navy. These included all built-for-the-purpose and requisitioned craft." In fact there was no "transfer" - they literally changed the name of the NZ Division, and simultaneously modified the titles of the Reserves, as well as changing over to the HMNZS prefix for ships names. Sailors cap tally bands were also changed, and that was it. Nothing else changed, including the arrangements with the Admiralty for the loan of RN ships and personnel, nor any other obligations. For all practical purposes it was exactly the same after as before the 1st October. And it was still just as dependent on and independent of the Royal Navy as before.
Then again, if you look up Royal New Zealand Navy in Papers Past for October 1941 you might not see much either. The official announcement of the pending change of title was made in the NZ Parliament on 10th September 1941. All officially based announcements published in the newspapers emphasize that it was merely a change of name, but some erred in making comments along the lines that New Zealand will now be protected by New Zealand ships whereas previously this protection was provided by the NZ Division of the Royal Navy, a rather specious comment. David D
Post by errolmartyn on May 22, 2016 13:08:20 GMT 12
The local newspapers, although apparently failing to report its official establishment, were reporting news about the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy from at least August 1920.
From the New Zealand Herald:
' . . .during the last month or two, when it became known that H.M.S. Chatham had been commissioned to join the New Zealand division of the Royal Navy . . .' (7 Aug 20)
' . . . The Admiral added that if suitable vessels could be obtained he considered that the general scheme for the development of the New Zealand division of the Royal Navy could be carried out on lines shown in a table forwarded to the Governor General. This table assumes, that the ships of the New Zealand division, with reserves of ammunition and stores, are initially a gift from the British Government. . . ' (13 Nov 20)
' . . . Recruits are required for the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. Youths between the ages of 17 and 18 years will be accepted for training on H.M.S. Philomel as seamen, and men between the ages of 18 and 22 will also be accepted for training as stokers. The first classes will be formed during the first week in May . . . (18 Apr 21)
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999
A few passages from commercially available reference works: the aforementioned Grant Howard in Portrait of the Royal New Zealand Navy;
"On 14 March, an Order in Council created the New Zealand Naval Board, with the Minister of Defence, Sir Heaton Rhodes, as chairman, the Commodore as First Naval member, and the Chief Staff Officer, Commander T.A. Williams, CBE, RN, as Second Naval member. The Secretary to the Commodore, Paymaster Commander J Siddals, OBE, RN, acted as Naval Secretary to the Board. Assisting him were a chief writer and a civilian clerk. The basic structure of the naval board remained, with only minor changes, until the Second World War, when it was enlarged. A further Order in Council, dated 20 June, stated that the fledgling force should be known as the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy."
McDougall in New Zealand Naval vessels;
"The Navy Established In the meantime Hall-Thomson had returned to Wellington in March 1917 to resume the task of setting up the new navy. Peace brought a redefining of areas of naval responsibility and the 'New Zealand Station' was formerly split from the China Station 1/1/20. The report brought to New Zealand aboard HMS New Zealand in 1919 by Viscount Jellicoe made many recommendations on establishing the naval defence force, only some of which were taken up by the government. The New Zealand Naval Board was set up by Order-in-Council dated 14/3/1921 and was followed by regulations uder Order-in-Council dated 20/6/21. This set out how the navy was to function, and named it the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. Ships were to be prefixed HMS and a training scheme was to be established to recruit and train New Zealanders for service with their own navy. There would be a large proportion of loaned RN personnel for many years yet, but New Zealand's own navy was at last underway."
Matthew Wright in Blue Water Kiwis skirts around the creation of the division by discussing Jellicoe's proposal and then the Washington Naval Treaty, and then when mentioning the NZ Naval Division goes on to quote what politicians thought of it and whilst naming it, only briefly mentions the Orders-In-Council that created it and not specifying dates, nor its significance to the local situation;
"In many respects the Washington naval treaty simply formalised post-war realities. The strategy for dealing with a reduced fleet - involving a defensive war in the Far East until the fleet could be brought through - had been developed by late 1920 and was endorsed by the CID in mid-1921, well before the treaty. The plan required a major naval base in theatre, and although Hong Kong was initially considered, the decision was taken to build a base at Singapore. The Quadruple Treaty for settling Pacific disputes, also signed in Washington, made little difference to this approach. 'The strategic situation in the Western pacific has changed for the worse', the CID warned, 'and the necessary preparations for a possible rapid concentration of the main fleet in the East must be pressed on with.'"
A few more snippets and titbits for digestion on the early NZ Navy.
There was talk in NZ during 1924 of renaming HMS DUNEDIN as NEW ZEALAND. Whether this was official or just scuttlebutt is impossible to say at this stage, but I favour the latter. It was known that the battlecruiser of that name was being scrapped at this time in the UK to meet the terms of the Washington Naval treaty, and perhaps somebody floated the idea. When I learned of this in Papers Past, imagined that this was new information, but I soon realized that it was included in McDougall's book on NZ Navy vessels.
Papers Past provides much useful information and general background to the events of 1920/21 when the NZ Division (and Naval Board) were set up, including the first advertisements for the calling up of boys, youths and men to join the Division in various trades. However two unexpected items include one (Otago Daily Times of 26/8/21) calling for tenders for the supply of uniform clothing for Chief Petty Officers and other ratings, with bids to be with Navy by 2/9/21. Another (earlier) was in Press of 2/5/21, with new regulations being gazetted (under the original Naval Defence Act of 1913) which stated that the uniform of the NZ Naval Forces "shall be as prescribed in Uniform regulations of the Royal Navy", also that age of retirement of officers of the MZ Naval Forces shall be the same as in Kings Naval Forces, and CPO's, Petty Officers, 50 years, others (presume meaning ratings) 45 years. (So the uniforms mentioned here, all non-commissioned, were identical to RN.)
However most interesting to my mind is the advertisement (Otago Daily Times of 24/12/21), calling for applications from qualified schoolmasters (of age over 21, and physically fit) to be a schoolmaster for the NZ Division of Royal Navy, "for the instruction of Boys and Ratings in HM Ships Chatham and Philomel, but will first be appointed to Philomel stationed at Auckland, but will probably be transferred later to Chatham." The selected candidate, on acceptance and subject to medical examination "will be entered on probation for 12 months as Acting Warrant Officer" (etc, also daily pay rates stated.)
It is also very interesting that the NZ Division was initially made up only of NZ recruits, plus transfers of ex RN (Imperial) ratings. No officers appear to have been appointed to the NZ Division until about 1936/37, when just six were on strength. However there were small numbers of officers in the NZ Reserves (a few in ordinary Reserve, ex RN, and a growing number in the Volunteer Reserve once the Divisions were raised in the 1926/27 period, many of the latter being already experienced in the ways of the sea). Pretty well ALL of the officers who filled command posts in the NZ Division were RN men (Regulars), as were ALL the officers manning the ships and other establishments, and therefore were NOT members of the NZ Division. It took about 70 RN officers to man the two cruisers, and about 500 ratings, and initially these also were 100% RN men, although a few of them may have been New Zealanders. However the recruiting of local boys and men gradually started filling up the two D class cruisers, until by about 1935 they provided about 50% of the total non-commissioned complement. With the arrival of the Achilles and Leander this proportion dropped somewhat, as the new ships had considerably larger crews, so even when the NZ Div possessed nearer to 500 ratings they were still slightly in the minority on these ships. The other vessels under the control of the NZ Naval Forces were manned by the RN (the two sloops), the Volunteer Reserve (Wakakura), and a civilian crew as required (fleet oiler Nucula). The sloops were not the financial responsibility of the NZ Govt, but nevertheless were of valuable assistance to the NZ Div, and were most used for regular Pacific island cruises (which probably suited their crews just fine!) It is also worth pointing out that NZ Div naval ratings suffered from the usual sort of wastage (attrition) rate expected in peacetime, with a steady trickle of resignations, etc, which naturally slowed the gradual taking over the lower decks strength of the cruisers. Promotions (typical of peacetime) were also painfully slow, so even by the mid-1930s, few NZ ratings had attained leading status and there were even fewer Petty Officers, let alone CPOs. However that is how they gradually and quietly created a "more New Zealand" New Zealand Navy.
Incidentally by the 1930s, the practise of sending small groups of (mostly technical) ratings to advanced trade schools in Australia, as well as smaller numbers to schools in the UK, had become commonplace. There was also an interchange scheme whereby groups of up to 30 ratings were sent to the UK for up to 3 years of service with the Royal Navy, with a similar number of Imperial ratings taking their places in NZ ships; over 100 NZ ratings were serving overseas with the RN by the mid-1930s. In this respect, the Navy lads were probably far better served than those in the RNZAF, who at this stage had no such exchange schemes to obtain similar experiences in a much larger fighting force, although a few RNZAF officers did have such opportunities. The first RNZAF airmen to get such experience were six men in the wireless trades sent to the UK in January 1939, with another six following in July, although this was connected with the obtaining of the 30 Wellington aircraft. As these aircraft were more advanced than the aircraft in New Zealand, and as they had all to be ferried out to NZ across the world in almost certainly the longest aircraft delivery by such a large number (up to that date), the wireless operators had to be totally familiar with the new types of radio equipment installed, and understand the ferry route and all the facilities they had to use along the way.
I hope these ramblings are of interest to some members of this Board.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 9, 2016 12:19:07 GMT 12
His closing statement of "The risk of nuclear conflict in 2016 is the highest it has been since the late Cold War of the mid 1980s." is a bit premature. Trump has not been voted in as President just yet!
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 21, 2016 13:22:12 GMT 12
US Vice-President Joe Biden signals end to 30 year cold shoulder over ship visits VERNON SMALL AND JOHN ANTHONY Last updated 13:05, July 21 2016
JOHN ANTHONY/FAIRFAX NZ A visit from a US ship is on the horizon after 30 years, following Joe Biden's trip to NZ.
United States Vice-President Joe Biden has formally accepted an invitation to send a naval vessel to New Zealand later this year, ending a 30 year freeze on such visits since New Zealand adopted its anti-nuclear policy in the mid-1980s.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Biden Prime Minister John Key said the US has accepted an invitation and intended to send a ship in November.
He said he was pleased they had accepted.
US Vice-President Joe Biden arrives at Auckland airport on Wednesday for a flying 24 hour visit.
Biden said the US "gladly accepts the invitation."
But he did not name a ship or say what type of vessel it would be. The formal process of the New Zealand Government assessing whether it is happy the vessel meets the anti-nuclear legislation - and is not nuclear powered or armed - is yet to begin.
It is likely the US will propose a vessel that is clearly not contentious - such as a hospital ship or a support ship - for this first thawing of the ban.
New Zealand will not ask the United States to confirm or deny whether a visiting vessel is nuclear armed.
Key said the two also discussed their deployments in Iraq and also the circumstances in Syria.
he welcomed the attention the US was paying to "this part of the world".
The 30-year standoff started when New Zealand adopted an anti-nuclear policy in 1985, rejecting the proposed visit of the ageing destroyer USS Buchanan. The anti-nuclear legislation was passed by the Lange government in 1987.
In an earlier bilateral meeting with Biden, Key said the relationship between the US and New Zealand was in the best shape it had ever been.
He thanked Biden and the Obama administration for being "accommodating" to New Zealand's needs. Biden said New Zealand had been easy to deal with and shared the same values as the US.
He said he would have liked to have stayed longer but he had to return to the US for the Democratic convention.
Biden is the most senior US official to visit since President Bill Clinton in 1999. He flies out on Thursday after a 24 hour visit.
Until now the US has not sought a ship visit since then, but has been mulling whether to accept an invitation to join the New Zealand navy's 75th anniversary celebrations in November.
New Zealand law, endorsed by National and Labour governments, requires the prime minister of the day to be satisfied any visiting ship does not carry nuclear weapons and is not nuclear powered.
The US has since lifted its ban on joint military training and exercises and New Zealand naval ships have recently been allowed to return to US military ports.
However, Foreign Minister Murray McCully has previously verified that no foreign country is required "to make any declaration on nuclear armament or propulsion".
"The assessment is made by New Zealand officials ... So the nuclear-free legislation is a domestic process that we need to satisfy," he said.
"And that is conducted by way of formal advice from me as minister of foreign affairs to the prime minister under the act – of course, on the basis of advice I have received."
On propulsion it was "pretty obvious", while on armaments there were "well-declared public positions from governments", McCully said.
Labour leader Andrew Little has previously confirmed he would take the same approach if he was prime minister.
His advice was that the assessments made by officials were "reasonably reliable".
McCully has said New Zealand's position had not changed, and the reason there had not been a visit for more than 30 years was that the US had not sought one.
About half of the 40 requests for visits in this Government's eight years in office had been from countries that had some form of nuclear capability, such as France, China and Britain – and all were approved.
"We wouldn't have any basis for treating the US differently from any other country, and we deal with these applications on a regular basis."
Those at the forefront of the anti-nuclear movement,in the 1980s have claimed a ship visit would be on New Zealand's terms, and the nuclear-free policy is not threatened by such a visit.
But protesters are already threatening to disrupt the visit.
A Newshub poll last month showed 75 per cent of respondents believed a US navy ship should come to New Zealand.
"But protesters are already threatening to disrupt the visit".
When are these protesting ding bats going to wake up. They may as well stand out side the Auckland Hospital or any other NZ Hospital and protest. Cause there is a hell of a lot of Nuclear/ radio active stuff in their.
... Already, however, a peace group is promising to protest against any warships attending the celebrations, including the United States.
Veteran protester Valerie Morse said Auckland Peace Action was planning a flotilla to block the warships and to protest against a defence industry conference being held at the same time. "Warships have no place in our peaceful country," she said. ...
Which is at least a position with more logic than an anti-nuclear demo against 95% of the US Navy, if one that few agree with.
Author and investigative journalist Nicky Hager said that if a ship did come it would be a win for the New Zealand public.
"A whole generation of New Zealanders were highly involved, marched in the streets and cared deeply about nuclear-free policy.
"And the United States were extremely bloody-minded about that, they've gone to send a ship that was either nuclear powered or nuclear armed from the very beginning and in the end it's been the US government that's changed and not us.
"So yes, all the people involved in it have won."
Security analyst Paul Buchanan from 36th Parallel Assessments told Morning Report Mr Biden's visit signalled the US accepted New Zealand's nuclear-free policy.
"The Biden visit is clearly a consolation for not getting a state visit from President Obama during the remainder of his term."
"And it clearly signals that the US accepts New Zealand's non-nuclear policy, in fact it's an issue that quite frankly was resolved in practice many years ago."
But he said a visit would still be highly symbolic.
Mr Biden is expected to fly out of the country this evening.
"The average" appears to cover a range of opinions, as you would expect. The article misses much context, like it is common for the USAF to exercise here. Most people don't realise there is already more military co-operation happening than what will occur during a simple ship visit.