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John Banks Speech - HMNZS Te Kaha Ceremony

MAYOR’S OFFICE
AUCKLAND CITY

Moving Auckland Forward


Hon John Banks QSO
Mayor of Auckland City


HMNZS Te Kaha Commanding Officer hand-over ceremony and presentation of Auckland City flag
Speech notes: Hon John Banks QSO
1.30pm, Tuesday 12 August 2003, Devonport Naval Base

Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Peter McHaffie

Deputy Chief of Navy, Commodore Anson

Maritime Component Commander, Commodore Ledson

Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Graham Lintott (RNZAF)

Commanding Officer John Martin, who has of course has left, did a great job for the Navy on this ship. We farewell him and we wish him every success for the future.

Best wishes to you Commander Keith Robb. You have a great job and a lot to look forward to.

It is great to see your family here. I pay tribute to them. It is so important that when you serve your country you have a supportive family and you obviously have just that.

Well, Te Kaha is Auckland’s ship. That is why the Mayor of Auckland City is here today.

I am very proud of this ship, the complement and the whole crew. I can tell you that the very best Maori performing cultural group comes from this ship and I know that from first-hand experience.

Along with HMNZS Te Mana and HMNZS Canterbury, and their helicopters, HMNZS Te Kaha is a key component of the naval combat force.

Te Kaha was built in Australia in the mid 1990s and I believe Australia is the direction in which it will head when it leaves our shores on Monday 18 August.

I was very privileged to spend some time with Te Kaha and its naval servicemen and women during a Sister City and New Zealand trade fair visit in Fukuoka, Japan last October. I enjoyed that very much. You were great representatives of this country. You can very proud of yourselves

Te Kaha had been deployed for eight months in Japan and as a visiting New Zealander you made me feel great to be a New Zealander and that is part of the spirit of this ship.

Recently Te Kaha has been in the Gulf of Oman as has HMNZS Te Mana. We thank you very much for your contribution on the war against terrorism.

Te Kaha and the sister ship Te Mana are of course two of the most expensive and modern items in the Defence Force inventory.

I look forward to these frigates receiving their $300 million upgrade this decade as the Government has indicated in its June development plan. I think that’s great.

In case you don’t clearly understand, I am a very strong advocate and a very committed supporter of the New Zealand defence forces.

The course of our ANZAC frigates is never a predictable one, mapped out by events such as September 11, and countries like East Timor, the Solomons and Iraq.

I am very proud of our contribution to those efforts.

Best wishes to you all for whatever the future deployment brings to each and every one of you.

You wear the New Zealand flag. This is the Royal New Zealand Navy and we are proud of the connection with Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand. Auckland is very proud of you all.

I just want to say to you, Commander Robb, that I think it was a great choice that you are now Commanding Officer of this ship and this crew. I wish you every success.

I know Commander Robb that you will be courageous and I know that you will commit and dedicate yourself to honourable service to the Royal New Zealand Navy, which you have done in the past.

It is a now pleasure to present our Auckland City flag to our ship Te Kaha.

Ends

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