National | Haka

Navy staff haka out the old rear admiral and welcome in the new commodore

Royal New Zealand Navy staff performed a rousing haka to farewell their chief David Proctor and welcome in the new acting boss, Andrew Brown.

At a Relinquishment of Command ceremony at the Naval Base on Devonport’s Te Taua Moana Marae, last week, Rear Admiral (RADM) David Proctor handed over his command of the Navy to Commodore Andrew Brown, now Acting Chief of Navy.

The formality included the exchange of the ‘Command pen’ filled with green ink, a colour he has the privilege to use. Proctor’s handover marks the conclusion of his 37-year navy career, as he takes up a civilian appointment in Australia.

Proctor was appointed Chief of Navy on November 29, 2018. As with the other service chiefs, his unusually long appointment was a result of maintaining continuity during and after the Covid pandemic.

“What an awesome run I have had, made so by you all,” Proctor said.

“From a dedicated and fiercely loyal personal staff, to Defence colleagues who equally tested and challenged me, alongside providing encouragement and resource commitment, to independent advisors who shared their time and intellect so generously, to shipmates who kept me honest and gave me so many opportunities to laugh, but at myself and alongside you.

“I thank you once, I thank you twice, I thank you three times.”

Former Navy friends took to Facebook to mark the special occasion.

Michael Lelieveld wrote: “David Proctor, a fantastic Naval career you have had. It feels like only yesterday when we started JOCT in 1987. I’m sure you will have mixed feelings stepping out of the uniform, I still miss it (and NZ) after my 23 years of having left and moved to the UK. You have lots to look forward to though with your new career and lifestyle as a civvy going forward. Hope to catch up with you and the rest of our shipmates when I next visit my homeland. It’s been too long.”

And Paulette Doctor added: “Ngā mihi nunui ki tō ratonga ki Te Taua Moana me Te Ope Kātua o Aotearoa RADM David Proctor. Haere tū atu, hoki tū mai e hoa. Greatest thanks for your service to the RNZN and NZDF, RADM. Take care and see you safe next time my friend. Arohanui Doc, Olly me ngā tamariki o Ngā Matatoa.”

- NZ Herald