Hello Haka: HMS Montrose Receives Ceremonial Greeting In New Zealand

HMS Montrose received a ceremonial greeting as she arrived at the New Zealand Devonport base for the first time in more than 20 years.

The ship's company from HMNZ Canterbury performed a posture haka dance to welcome HMS Montrose for her five-day visit.

A haka is traditionally associated with battle preparations but is now used to welcome distinguished guests.

HMS Montrose is currently on a three-year mission, which after completion will see her becoming the first forward-deployed British frigate in the Gulf.

The visit was also a homecoming for Montrose’s Kiwi-born marine engineer Petty Officer Heidi Tait, who took the opportunity to proudly show her friends and family around the ship in which she serves.

"Having left New Zealand ten years ago, it was very kind of my employer to bring me all the way home, and give me a chance to see my family," she said.

The Type 23 frigate left the UK last October for the three-year global deployment.

Before arriving in New Zealand, crew members joined the international fight against plastic littering the oceans by recording pollution on four Pacific Islands.

All four islands - Pitcairn, Dulcie, Oneo and Henderson - are under British rule in the Pacific.

HMS Montrose wildcat helicopter New Zealand
Montrose played host to a Defence Industries Day where the ship’s Wildcat helicopter was the centre of attention (Picture: Royal Navy).

Away from the ship, Montrose’s sailors experienced a wide-ranging package of adventurous training, from bungee jumps to mountain biking, canyoning to stand-up paddle boarding.

The ship’s netball team beat their hosts, but the rugby squad lost to the New Zealand Navy All Blacks.

The vessel's Commanding Officer, Commander Conor O’Neill, said the five days in Auckland had "delivered on every front".

"Montrose has re-kindled relationships with our hosts and allies in the Royal New Zealand Navy, demonstrated our capability, undertaken adventurous training and sport and explored an amazing city," he continued.

"Our time in and around Auckland has definitely been a highlight of our global deployment so far and one we will long remember."

HMS Montrose leaves Plymouth 291018 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY
HMS Montrose left Plymouth in 2018 and is one of the frigates set to move to Portsmouth (Picture: Royal Navy).

Upon leaving New Zealand, Montrose will visit four continents before arriving at the new British Naval Support Facility in Bahrain for deployment in the Gulf region.

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