Visit to the New Zealand Defence Force – Part 1

Parliament
Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Privileged today to be able to join a New Zealand NZ Defence Force programme covering the Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Air Force and New Zealand Army.

The day kicked off participating in an exercise attacking HMNZS Wellington in Rigid Inflatable Boats. Those boats are amazing and the seamanship of the crews incredible.

Needless to say we lost. Quite badly.

Once aboard the victorious ship we participated in a firefighting exercise, before simulating a rescue operation. Each of us had the opportunity to either conn or helm the ship.

I thought I made a pretty good fist of conning the ship. Then the real sailors showed us how it is done.

Chief of Navy went last. His turn was the tightest, his approach the fastest and he was so close to the buoy that, had it been a real incident, the person in the water could have simply reached out and grasped the ladder to climb aboard. Absolutely incredible!

My thanks to the men and women of the Navy and our hosts. What a superb display of their professionalism and capability.