New Zealand Station

From Naval History Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search
New Zealand Station
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Part ofChina Station (1913-21)
Garrison/HQRN Base, Auckland, Dominion of New Zealand
In CommandVarious titles
FirstCommodore, Second Class Alan G. Hotham
LastCommodore, Second Class William E. Parry

The New Zealand Station was a naval command area of the Royal Navy.[1] Originally the passing of the Naval Defence Act 1913 created the New Zealand Naval Forces as a separate command within the Royal Navy. On 1 January 1921 the New Zealand Naval Forces was the constituent force responsible for the waters around New Zealand had been under the command of the China Station were renamed the New Zealand Division to be the constituent naval force assigned to the New Zealand Station.


At its establishment in 1848, the naval command area known as the Australia Station encompassed Australia and New Zealand.[2] Under the Australasian Naval Agreement 1887 the colonial governments of Australia and New Zealand secured a greater naval presence in their waters, agreed that two ships would always be based in New Zealand waters and agreed contributions to funding that presence.[3]

In 1901 the Commonwealth of Australia became independent of the United Kingdom. The Australian Squadron was disbanded in 1911 and the Australia Station passed to the Commonwealth Naval Forces. The Australia Station was reduced to cover Australia and its island dependencies to the north and east, excluding New Zealand and its surrounds, which was transferred responsibility Commander-in-Chief, China Station resulting in a local formation know as the New Zealand Naval Forces.[4] On 24 May, 1920 Commodore, Second Class Alan Geoffrey Hotham was appointed the first Commodore-in-Command, New Zealand Station a new subcommand of the then China Station.[5]

On 1 January 1921, the New Zealand Naval Forces, which had formerly been under the command of the China Station, were renamed the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy.[6] Funded by Wellington and increasingly manned by New Zealanders, it operated 14 ships over a period of 21 years, including the cruisers HMS Achilles and HMS Leander, the training minesweeper HMS Wakakura, and the cruiser HMS Philomel which was recommissioned as a base training establishment.[7] On 19 July, 1929 the commanding officer's title changed from Commander, New Zealand Station to Rear-Admiral Commanding, New Zealand Station until June, 1938 ebfore reverting back to it's original name.

The Commodore's appointment was abolished and forces brought directly under the New Zealand Chief of the Naval Staff from October 1940.[8] The New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy became the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) from 1 October 1941, in recognition of the fact that the naval force was now largely self-sufficient and independent of the Royal Navy.[9]

Naval HQ

New Zealand Station 10 September 1939. Photo Credit:© Dr. Leo Niehorster

Commodore-in-Command, New Zealand Station (1920-29)

  1. Commodore, Second Class Alan G. Hotham, 24 May, 1920 – July, 1923.[10]
  2. Commodore, Second Class Alister F. Beal, 12 July, 1923 – August, 1926.[11]
  3. Commodore, Second Class George T. C. P. Swabey, 18 June, 1926 – September, 1929.[12]

Rear-Admiral Commanding, New Zealand Station (1929-38)

  1. Rear-Admiral Geoffrey Blake, 19 July, 1929 – April, 1932.[13][14]
  2. Rear-Admiral Fischer B. Watson, 17 April, 1932 – March, 1935.[15]
  3. Rear-Admiral The Hon. Edmund R. Drummond, 9 March, 1935 – June, 1938.[16]

Flag Captain to Rear-Admiral Commanding, New Zealand Station (1938)

  1. Captain Irvine Gordon Glennie, 24 March, 1936 – 24 June, 1938.[17]

Commodore Commanding, New Zealand Station (1938)

  1. Commodore, Second Class Henry Edward Horan, 24 April, 1938 – 7 June, 1938.[18]

Commodore Commanding, New Zealand Squadron (1938-40)

  1. Commodore, Second Class Irvine Gordon Glennie, 8 June, 1938 – December, 1938.
  2. Commodore, Second Class James William Rivett-Carnac, 2 December, 1938 – 26 January, 1940.[19]
  3. Commodore, Second Class Henry Edward Horan, December, 1939 – April, 1940.
  4. Commodore, Second Class William Edward Parry, May, 1940 – October, 1940 .

Additional titles

The stations commanding officer also held the joint title of First Naval Member, New Zealand Naval Board from to ?.

Components under this Command

At various times it encompassed naval formations and other ships not attached to other fleets. In addition to shore establishments including, barracks, dockyards, depots, hospitals, refitting and re-supply bases, naval bases or victualling yards. Those components that were part of this command are shown below.


Unit From To Ref
New Zealand Squadron date date

Bases and Dockyards

Unit From To Ref
Devonport Dockyard 1925 1940
Auckland 1925 1940
Wellington 1919 ?


  1. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (18 March 2021). "New Zealand Station - The Dreadnought Project". Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  2. Dennis 2008, p. 54.
  3. "Australian Naval Defence and the 1887 Colonial" (PDF). Sheffield Hallam University. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  4. Dennis 2008, p. 53.
  5. Harley and Lovell.
  6. McGibbon 2000, pp. 45–46.
  7. McGibbon 2000, p. 353.
  8. New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, Appendix Vi — Members Of New Zealand Naval Board|Appendix VI: Members of the New Zealand Naval Board
  9. "The Royal New Zealand Navy". New Zealand History. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  10. Harley and Lovell.
  11. Harley and Lovell.
  12. Harley and Lovell.
  13. Harley and Lovell.
  14. Admiralty, British (July 1931). "Flag Officers in Commission". The Navy List. London, England.: H.M.S.O. p. 200.
  15. Harley and Lovell.
  16. Harley and Lovell.
  17. Houterman, Hans; Koppes, Jeroen. "World War II unit histories & R.N. officers: G". Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  18. Houterman, Hans; Koppes, Jeroen. "World War II unit histories & R.N. officers: H". Netherlands: <Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  19. Admiralty, British (August 1939). "Flag Officers in Commission". The Navy List. London, England.: H.M.S.O. p. 240.


  • Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; Prior, Robin (2008). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (2nd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195517842.