“I have the ship.”

With those words Commander Trevor Leslie accepted command of shore-based establishment HMNZS Matataua today, encompassing our Navy’s dive and hydrography teams, and received the symbol of command, a tewhatewha (ceremonial signal stick) from outgoing Commanding Officer Commander Wiremu Leef.
CDR Leslie, who joined the Navy in 1986, rose through the ranks as an accomplished clearance diver and supervisor to Chief Petty Officer before commissioning from the ranks.
He has worked across the Pacific, in the Middle East, USA, Europe and Antarctica and is a champion of positive and progressive culture and capability initiatives across our Diving trade and the wider Littoral Warfare Force. He was awarded the NZ Defence Force Peter Rule Diversity and Inclusion Award last year in recognition of his contribution to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Who started off in the Cadets?? They have recently launched 🚀a fresh new website with updated information, fresh new faces and a whole new look to encourage a whole new generation.


Last week Keith and Heather Nicholson sold their HDML Ex HMNZS Paea to her new owner / custodian Roger Reeves. Heather said “We had so much fun and met so many awesome people. Wishing Roger all the very best and hope that the fun continues with Paea”




COMMANDER BRONWYN HESLOP, RNZN, COMMANDING OFFICER HMNZS CANTERBURY AND LIEUTENANT COMMANDER NIGEL HESLOP VRD, COMMANDING OFFICER HMNZS NGAPONA.   Both are currently Commanding Officers of their respective RNZN Ships, and in the same family, something that doesn’t happen very often and probably the first time in the history of the RNZN.

I could only imagine the conversations between two Commanding Officers over the dinner table. Comparing notes and advice on their respective commands as well as raising two sons which must be a challenge and a need for effective time management.  CDR Heslop joined the RNZN in 1990, as a MID GLX(H).  She studied at the University of Auckland, graduating with a BSc (Phys. Geog). 

In 1994, CDR Heslop joined HMNZS Endeavour, and gained her Grade 2 BWC and HWC.   From 2008 – 2011 she served in HMNZS Ngapona before re-joining the RNZN again, to resume her operational career.  During the period 2011 to 2022 she held several posts including, METOC HQJFNZ, XO Endeavour, a year in the RN and Commander MOET.  CDR Heslop left MOET in Jan 2022 to complete the Major Fleet Unit Command Course (MFUCC), in preparation for taking command of HMNZS Canterbury.  

CDR Bronwyn Heslop took command of HMNZS Canterbury on 12 April 2022. Not her first Command as she was the first female to go IOC of a RNZN vessel, HMNZS Moa. In 1998 CDR Heslop was given command of HMNZS Moa, and surveyed Port Pegasus.    Her husband, Lieutenant Commander Nigel Heslop, VRD, RNZNVR was born and raised in Auckland, andjoined the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve as an Ordinary Shipping Controller in 1990.  He commenced training in what was then known as the Naval Control of Shipping (NCS) Branch before taking up a commission in the rank of Ensign in January 1992.  During 2012-2013, he was Lead Planner for EX BELL BUOY 13 (BB13), a Maritime Trade Operations (MTO) exercise conducted by the RNZN on behalf of the Pacific and Indian Oceans Shipping Working Group (PACIOSWG).  This exercise, the first of its kind to be hosted by the RNZN, saw naval personnel from 10 nations join together to successfully exercise MTO doctrine and skills within a humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) context.  Very much a career highlight, his efforts to plan, organize and execute EX BB13 later saw him awarded a Commanding Officer’s Commendation.  A graduate of the University of Auckland (MA(Hons)) and Whitireia Polytechnic (Diploma in Publishing), away from his civilian and naval commitments LT CDR Heslopenjoys umpiring cricket (his playing days apparently now firmly behind him), reading, and family life with his wife and two sons. 

LT CDR Heslop was appointed XO HMNZS Ngapona in 2016 and appointed CO on the 23 November 2018 and also holds the position as Reserve Personnel Officer.  Both Bronwyn and Nigel got to know each other when both were Reservists at HMNZS Ngapona, prior to Bronwyn returning to regular service in 1911.  CDR Heslop is married to LT CDR Heslop, and have two teenaged sons, James and Oliver. Both enjoy all forms of cricket, and walking their dog, Zeus.


PaymeWWII veteran Keown “Wallace” Shirley, celebrates 102nd birthday 

During his 102 years, Keown “Wallace” Shirley​ is perhaps most proud of having served in World War II with his five brothers.  The former telegraphist in the Royal New Zealand Navy celebrated his birthday on Friday and is one of the country’s oldest surviving veterans.  He said it didn’t feel all that different from making it to 100. “It’s not different from 22, except that you can’t get around the same.”  Wallace attributes his longevity to a daily kip of whisky with whipped cream, and never having smoked.tnam veteran ex gratia payments — 22 February