Yesterday the Navy had free run of the capital when it began a weekend’s celebrations commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the independent Royal New Zealand Navy. Ceremonies began with a march down through the city from Parliament to Civic Square, and then crowds of Wellingtonians descended on the 11 Navy vessels that were open to public visits. I met up with Richard to have a look at a few of the vessels, and managed to investigate the multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury, the offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington, and the inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Hawea.
Before 1941 our maritime defences were the responsibility of the Royal Navy, although a distinctly New Zealand naval force was established as early as 1913, and from 1921 until the foundation of the RNZN the RN had a New Zealand squadron, which included the 18,500 ton battlecruiser HMS New Zealand.
Pictures taken from in front of the Supreme Court building opposite Bowen House at the start of Lambton Quay.