Taonga of HMS New Zealand

Thursday 07 April 2016

Hill  M L, 2016. The taonga of HMS New Zealand. Web feature for www.ww100.govt.nz

Pounamu probably worn by the Caption of HMS New Zealand E132.16

Pounamu worn by the Captain of HMS New Zealand E132.16

During the Battle of Jutland in 1916, Captain John Green stood on the bridge of HMS New Zealand wearing a piupiu and hei tiki. These two items became good luck charms, credited with seeing the ship safely through the First World War’s largest naval battle.

The hei tiki was gifted to the officers and crew of the HMS New Zealand by C J Sloman. Sloman was manager of the Crown Brewery in Christchurch and was actively involved in the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society. Sloman deposited the hei tiki at Canterbury Museum in 1913 and then uplifted it a few months later to lend it to the HMS New Zealand. The loan came with a condition: the hei tiki had to be returned to Canterbury Museum should the name New Zealand ever be removed from the navy list. The hei tiki returned to Canterbury Museum in 1932, as per the terms of Sloman’s gift.

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