Edition Two -  April 2016
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Welcome to Te Waka, spreading the word on what is happening at your Navy Museum.

The Royal New Zealand Navy is celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the formation of our Navy. There are a number of events happening throughout the year but one in the near future that we are very excited about is the Westpac Presents 30 Years Women at Sea. This exhibition will feature the stories of women who pioneered serving at sea in the Royal New Zealand Navy. The exhibition will be opening in June at the Navy Museum.


Behind the Scenes is currently showing at the Navy Museum. It showcases some of the many artefacts gifted to the museum over the past few years. It highlights the range of objects, photographs and archive material that is added to our collection. Behind the Scenes includes some of the recent acquisitions that the Collections Team found personally interesting.

To find out more about our current exhibition please click here.


Action Stations- Dazzle Ships

Action Stations – Dazzle Ships 16 April to 1 May (except Anzac Day)

This school holiday we are being dazzling here at the museum! In the First and Second World Wars, ships were sometimes painted to confuse the eyes of the enemy below. Come and join us and ‘dazzle’ your own paper ship – what colours and patterns will you choose?

Click here for more information on Dazzle Ships.


The Navy Museum will be open from 10am on Anzac Day and we are continuing our Anzac Day tradition of making paper poppies. The poppies we use are based on the original French poppy design dating back to the 1920's.

You will get the chance to make your own poppy and 'plant' it into our Field of Remembrance.


Pusser's Red Devils - Bicycles were, and still are, commonly used on the naval bases as a way to get around. Until a few decades ago, Navy standard issue bikes were painted red and thus known as a Pusser's Red Devils: pusser being in-house slang for the Navy.
Click here to found out more about the history of the Pusser's Red Devil.
The bicycle is currently on display at the Navy Museum as part of our Behind The Scenes exhibition.


Hi, I'm Ainslie and I am a Guide Host at the Navy Museum. The 20mm Oerlikon is one of my favourite artefacts in the museum. The original design was engineered in Germany in 1918, but these prototype weapons weren't produced widely enough to make a significant difference to the German World War One efforts. In the interwar years, Swiss designers from the company Oerlikon Contraves revisited the orginal design and streamlined it into what would then become one of the most effective anti-aircraft canons of World War Two. The Oerlikon was designed to operate effectively in heavy conditions - whether frozen, dirty or full of salt. Because of this and their heavy weight (approximately 150 pounds), Oerlikons were mostly utilised on Navy vessels to handle attacking aircraft and light boats. The US Navy had produced more than 120,000 Oerlikon guns by the conclusion of the war, but navies from many other nations used them as well- even Japan!

The Oerlikon is relevant to the New Zealand story, because two of our minesweepers HMNZS Kiwi and Moa used them to great effect in their efforts against the Japanese I-1 submarine. Rumour has it that Moa exchanged two bottle of alcohol to acquire theirs from the US Navy.

Some of the Oerlikons from World War Two are still in operation today, however most are in private collections or museums.

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