The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) diving support, hydrographic survey and deep sea salvage vessel HMNZS Manawanui will visit Gisborne from Thursday 26 November to Monday 30 November 2020, marking the ship’s first visit to her ceremonial home port.

“The crew of HMNZS Manawanui are really looking forward to spending time in Gisborne and the opportunity to further enhance the special and strong relationship that began in June 2019 when the ship was commissioned,” said Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Andy Mahoney.  

The visit to Gisborne cements the relationship between the City of Gisborne and the RNZN where the ship will receive the Charter to the City granting the men and women of HMNZS Manawanui the privilege of being able to march through the streets with drums beating and bayonets fixed. 

“The receipt of a charter to a city is a long-standing naval tradition and one that we are incredibly honoured to receive from the Gisborne District Council. Our crew come from all over New Zealand, but we can now proudly call Gisborne home.”

This is not the first time Gisborne has had a charter with an RNZN ship. The decommissioned hydrographic ships HMNZS Resolution and HMNZS Monowai held the charter until 2012 and 1997 respectively.

As well as a charter parade on Friday, the ship will be open to visitors on Saturday. 

“The crew are looking forward to parading through the streets of Gisborne but also engaging with the community and providing an opportunity for them to view their ship and learn more about their Navy by interacting with the ship’s company,” Lieutenant Commander Mahoney said. 

There are a number of activities happening during HMNZS Manawanui’s visit to Gisborne. Along with the Charter Parade and the ship being open to visitors, there will be a powhiri to welcome the ship, an official call by the Commanding Officer on the Mayor of Gisborne and a number of official functions on the ship.

Local community support is important for Lieutenant Commander Mahoney.

“As well as the formalities I look forward to exploring opportunities through which we can maintain enduring relationships with the local area and organisations,” he said.

Details on the Open Day can be found on the Royal New Zealand Navy Facebook page here(external link)

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