An official reception, Charter Parade and Open Day will be the highlights of HMNZS Endeavour’s last visit to her home port of New Plymouth later this month.
After 30 years of service, the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN’s) support tanker will celebrate her links with Taranaki in the lead-up to her decommissioning in December.
She will begin her decommissioning with a week-long visit to Port Taranaki, arriving at 10am on Tuesday, 14 November, following a successful final deployment supporting the Royal Australian Navy.
An official reception will be held at Port Taranaki on Thursday, 16 November, on the ship’s flight deck, with a welcome address by the Commanding Officer of Endeavour, Commander Martin Doolan.
At the reception there will be a ceremonial sunset and beating the retreat, with support from the RNZN Band.
On Saturday, 18 November, there will be a Charter Parade, starting at 11am, with Endeavour’s ship’s company and the RNZN Band assembling on Queen Street by the Clocktower.
The parade will be ceremonially challenged by a member of the New Zealand Police and then will follow a route to the Puke Ariki landing, where Commander Doolan will hand back the City Charter to the Mayor of New Plymouth, Neil Holdom.
“Endeavour’s affiliation with Taranaki included a charter between the ship and the district that gives the ship’s company ‘the right and privilege of marching with drums beating, band playing, colours flying, bayonets fixed and swords drawn’,” Commander Doolan said.
“They will exercise this right for the final time on the Saturday with the parade and ceremony, which will conclude with the ship returning the charter document to the Mayor.”
An Open Day on Endeavour on the morning of Sunday, 19 November, at Port Taranaki will allow the public a final opportunity to board the ship. They will be able to take part in tours of the ship conducted on the upper decks and buy souvenirs celebrating the decommissioning of the vessel.
The final event on Endeavour’s visit is a farewell by members of Ngati Te Whiti, as the ship departs Port Taranaki at 10am on Monday, 20 November.
“Ngati Te Whiti, one of five hapu within the Te Atiawa iwi of Taranaki, holds a special connection to the ship, having provided Endeavour with her symbol of command,” Commander Doolan said.
During the final visit of Endeavour to New Plymouth the RNZN band will be in the city to celebrate the RNZN’s and HMNZS Endeavour’s relationship with the city and Taranaki.
The band will be at all the ship’s events and will also give concerts at a local school and in the evening on Wednesday, 15 November.
The public are invited to the evening concert, proudly supported by the New Plymouth District Council, in the TSB Showplace, Devon Street West. Entry is $5 per person and tickets are available at Ticketek and the Box Office.