Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More
Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

River Plate battle honoured at Navy graduation

Hon Dr Wayne Mapp
Minister of Defence

11 December 2009
Media Statement

River Plate battle honoured at Navy graduation

New Navy junior officers and sailors are today’s custodians of the values that distinguished New Zealand sailors fighting in the Battle of the River Plate, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp told a graduation parade at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland today.

Sunday is the 70th anniversary of the famous battle in which the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was engaged and defeated in Argentina’s River Plate estuary by a Royal Navy cruiser squadron including HMS Achilles. Achilles was then part of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy, forerunner of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Over half her crew were New Zealanders.

“Seventy years ago New Zealand sailors played a pivotal role in this battle, the first major naval engagement of World War 2,” Dr Mapp said. “It was the values of commitment, courage and comradeship that got them through. Today those values are the Navy’s watchwords. They are the values that give us confidence that our Navy is meeting its goal of being the best small-nation Navy in the world.”

Presenting the Minister of Defence Sword of Honour to Midshipman Emma Burtenshaw, of Hamilton, Dr Mapp said that it was a rare award.

“It is awarded to an exemplary candidate in recognition of excellence and distinguished performance as a midshipman. Your outstanding record in your junior officers’ course is a testament to those values that we honour in commemorating the Battle of the River Plate,” he told Midshipman Burtenshaw.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Dr Mapp praised the Navy’s work during the past year. “There have been many highlights. HMNZS Te Mana arrived home today from the second of two long deployments. Naval personnel are serving in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste.

“Your performance in times of crisis such as the Tongan ferry sinking and the tsunami in Samoa, the smooth introduction into service of the new Inshore Patrol Vessels, the Gold Business Excellence Award you recently received, are all signals that New Zealand can be proud of the professionalism of its Navy,” he said.

Dr Mapp will attend a Battle of the River Plate commemoration service at Achilles Point, St Heliers on Sunday at 10.30am.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.