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Scott Perry, owner of Kuparu, has been putting in the ‘hard yards’  doing much needed restoration work on Kuparu. She is currently hauled out at Marsden Cove, Whangarei, Scott found some worm in the keel which had to be attended to and this has extended the time on the hard. She is due to go back in the water next week. The good news is that her hull will be black, the way most of us remember MLs. If you get a chance, Scott would appreciate a hand. It is a big job for one man on his own. If you are in the area give him a call – 027 278 2542.


Sunday 20 December 2019, 1000 St Christopher’s Chapel, Devonport Naval Base Rig: 1BW (negative swords) On 19 December 1941, HMS NEPTUNE sunk after hitting a mine off the coast of Tripoli in the Mediterranean. All but one of the 764 personnel aboard lost their lives. Amongst the crew were 150 New Zealanders, many of whom were reservists. This event represents the largest loss of New Zealand life at sea and forms a significant event in the history of our Navy and especially of our Naval Reserve. Association members are invited to attend the service which will be led by Padre Michael Berry. Further information can be obtained from the Padre on his civilian address

Wartime recollection: Fateful day still vivid in 95-year-old’s memory

Deciding not to wait in a long queue as his crewmates went single file down to their living quarters, George Billing went to go to an office to finish a letter instead. It was a decision that saved his life because within minutes a torpedo slammed into his ship close to where his bunk was. Read more from the Kapiti News here

HMNZS Aotearoa: Covid-19 again scuppers best-laid plans for Navy’s big new ship

The maiden Kiwi voyage of the Navy’s new ship has been knocked back as coronavirus continues to conspire against HMNZS Aotearoa. Meanwhile, some of its new crew have been siphoned off to help with Operation Protect, the Defence Force’s (NZDF) contribution to the national Covid-19 response, which includes providing security at managed isolation and quarantines facilities. Read more from here

NZ military divers fly out of Christchurch for under ice hydrography mission in Antarctica

A team of NZ military divers will fly out of Christchurch today as they head to Antarctica for a unique mission deep beneath the ice. The team of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) hydrographers will leave Christchurch on Friday to carry out an underwater survey to help Antarctica New Zealand with logistical planning for its $250 million Scott Base redevelopment project. Read more from Otago Daily Times here

Manawanui ‘at home’ this week

HMNZS Manawanui, the Royal New Zealand Navy vessel that calls Gisborne its home port, arrives here on Thursday for four days. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern named Gisborne the Manawanui’s home port when New Zealand purchased the vessel in 2018. “It’s common for naval ships to be assigned an honorary home port once they’re commissioned,” said Mayor Rehette Stoltz.

Covid-19: Military quarantine personnel moved to Navy base under level 3 rules

Navy personnel assigned to a quarantine facility were quietly moved to new quarters at a suburban military base after the November cluster began. The service members were ordered to observe strict alert level 3 lockdown precautions at the Officer Training School at Narrow Neck on Auckland’s North Shore. The group was moved to the seaside barracks the weekend after news broke on Friday, November 6, of the uniformed Defence Force member having caught coronavirus at Jet Park, in circumstances which remain unknown. Read more from here

Armistice Day commemorations at Caroline Bay war memorial in Timaru

A weapon used in World War II was fired next to the Caroline Bay war memorial as South Canterbury marked Armistice Day. The 1941 South Canterbury Returned and Services Association’s 25-pounder Howitzer fired blanks three times in front of more than 30 people, including war veterans, before 11am on Wednesday. Read more from here


HMNZS Tarapunga was a modified Moa class inshore patrol vessel of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). She was built in 1980 by the Whangarei Engineering and Construction Company as a version re-engineered for use as an inshore survey vessel. After decommissioning, she was purchased by North American owners and can be seen in Harper’s Island Episode 1, as the charter boat that brings the wedding party to the island. Can also be seen in season 2, episode 9, of Psych, from 2007


The Central Business district of Singapore with on the left seen the disused Keppel Container terminal and in the back the Brani Container terminal and for the “older” seamen reading this newsletter along the bay in the middle seen the famous Clifford Pier, where for many years thousands (or millions) of seaman landed to go ashore to visit Change Alley, and the city for shopping, Bugis Street and a beer. The pier was closed on March 31, 2006 and is transformed into the Fullerton Bay hotel. The Port of Singapore refers to the collective facilities and terminals that conduct maritime trade, and which handle Singapore’s harbours and shipping. It is ranked as one the top maritime capital of the world since 2015 Currently the world’s second-busiest port in terms of total shipping to...


After a bit of COVID uncertainty, we are pleased to advise you that our 2021 Reunion over the weekend of 26 – 28 March 2021 at New Plymouth is going ahead. So what does this mean? This means that Level 1 does not preclude our 2021 Reunion from taking place and our New Zealand domiciled membership from attending. Our quarantine regulations will remain in place under Level 1 so it is unlikely that our international membership will consider attending as they will need to meet their own 14-day quarantine costs. But the choice is theirs to make. If you have been holding off registering because of COVID, now is the time to join your shipmates for a weekend of ‘tall tales’ and reminiscing.


To tell the true story of Tamaki-Fort Cautley is going to require help from many personnel who completed their training at this special place. As our members know I am endeavouring to write a reunion book of our history. Unlike Tamaki-Motuihe this Tamaki had numerous schools and courses involved. The reason I started writing these anecdotes was to assist me to compile information to write this book. My request is for those of you who did training at OTS, Apprentice school, BBT’s, Command courses, specific branch courses such as RP’s, S&S, Coms, Marine engineers etc to POST COMMENTS on our site, MESSAGE me or EMAIL me at with your stories. By Jack Donnelly

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