by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Upper Hutt Leader : October 5th 2011
52 UPPER HUTT LEADER, OCTOBER 5, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz Navy ships sail in to celebrate 70th By JIM CHIPP On guard: Kani Tomoana on HMNZS Pukaki as the ship escorts HMNZS Te Kaha, right, and HMNZS Te Mana into Wellington Harbour. Photos: JIM CHIPP Early on Thursday morning HMNZS Pukaki swooped briefly into Evans Bay and slowed very slightly. An inflatable boat powered alongside, matching the ship's speed, buffeted and sprayed in the wash, and was quickly hoisted aboard, complete with its cargo of journalists and photographers. The Pukaki powered back up and headed out into Cook Strait. Pukaki's commander, Lieuten- ant Alexandra Hansen greeted and chatted briefly with the visitors before returning to the bridge to oversee the ship's task for the day -- escorting most of the New Zealand Navy's ships into Wellington Harbour. It was a rare gathering to cele- brate 70 years since the navy was founded and fleet commanders took the opportunity to carry out a series of manoeuvres and exercises in the last few days lead- ing up to entering harbour. The 11 ships were open to the public during the weekend. On Saturday 400 navy person- nel paraded down Lambton Quay after a ceremony at Parliament to change the Navy's Queen's Colour -- a flag symbolising the Navy's relationship with the Queen. ANZAC frigates Te Kaha and Te Mana were first to meet Pukaki before entering the har- bour and Te Mana fired a 21-gun salute at Point Jerningham. Then it was back out into Cook Strait to meet the off-shore patrol vessels HMNZS Otago and HMNZS Wellington, and finally Pukaki returned to pair up with her twin, HMNZS Hawea. Pukaki's normal role was patrolling New Zealand's terri- torial waters, and supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, customs, police and the Conservation Department, said Lieutenant Sam Turner. In the previous week they had patrolled the West Coast Hoki fishery. Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Scot Paterson has served 20 years and was begin- ning to think about life after the navy. A fitter and turner by trade, the Upper Hutt College old boy said the navy had offered him the chance to travel extensively and to broaden his skills into air con- ditioning, refrigeration and power engineering. He had spent most of his life as a sailor on bigger ships such as Te Kaha and Te Mana. The 55-metre long Pukaki was his first small boat'', he said. The highlight of his navy ser- vice was a week-long spell on the USS Missouri, now out of service, but it was the vessel which re- ceived Japan's surrender to the Allies. As a fitter and turner I would have been stuck behind a lathe,'' Mr Paterson said. Although the ship's staff operat- ed and interacted with an air of military efficiency and formality, they had time for the odd laugh. Early in the day communica- tions officer Charlotte Gallagher had announced conversations with other vessels in the fleet ceremonially entering the harbour would be by old-fashioned flags. She and Jordan Morris were kept busy scanning the other ships through binoculars to pick up their messages, and hoisting Pukaki's responses. When the interisland ferry passed it was flying signal flags of its own. What's he saying?'' asked Lieutenant Hansen. There was a pause as Ms Gallagher studied the ferry's arrangement of pennants. He's saying Go ABs','' she said finally announced, to applause from the bridge. Laid back: Lieutenant Alexandra Hansen, of Wellington, commanding officer of HMNZS Pukaki on the bridge. First at the helm Alexandra Hansen plays soccer, she has degrees in commerce and science and she earns her living commanding a warship. When Lieutenant Hansen joined the inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Pukaki 15 months ago she became the Royal New Zealand Navy's first female commanding officer. Ms Hansen grew up in Wellington and attended Wellington East Girls' College. She enrolled at Victoria University and her twin sister joined the navy. She was travelling the world and earning heaps of money,'' Ms Hansen said. I thought I could do that, too'.'' She is still there 10 years lat- er and recommends the service to other young women, because it's varied and exciting. It offers opportunities to gain experiences, qualifications and have fun. You're given jobs. You mas- ter it and you move on. You keep on going and going and going until you fall off the ladder.'' The highlight of Ms Hansen's time in the navy was a second- ment to the Royal Navy in Portsmouth and in the Falk- land Islands. But it has its downsides too. I don't like middle watches -- midnight until 4am. And I don't like rough seas because I get sea-sick.'' It's also hard being away from her partner and family for long periods. Ms Hansen said she had arrived at the point where she would soon have to choose whether to make the navy a life-long career or move on to something else.
September 28th 2011
October 12th 2011