Royal New Zealand Navy tanker HMNZS Endeavour is bound for one final visit to her homeport in Taranaki later this month, before she decommissions by the end of the year.
She will begin her decommissioning with a week-long visit to Port Taranaki, arriving on November 14, following a successful final deployment supporting the Royal Australian Navy.
An official reception will be held at Port Taranaki on Thursday, November 16, 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.
“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.”
HMNZS Endeavour started her service in April 1988 after being built in South Korea. She is the third ship of this name to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy and is named after James Cook’s HM Barque Endeavour on his first voyage to New Zealand.
Crewed by 50 officers and sailors, Endeavour spent her years in service refueling ships at sea, enabling other navy vessels to operate over long distances for extended periods of time.
She will be replaced by the future HMNZS Aotearoa which will have twice the displacement of HMNZS Endeavour and will carry 30 per cent more fuel.