She's got a name and now she has a badge
No-one was more surprised to be judged the winner of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s badge competition for the Navy’s newest and largest ever ship, Aotearoa, than Steven Knight, a Chief Petty Officer with the Navy.
“I was stoked just to be selected in the top 10 to be honest,” said Steven after being given the news of his win by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral John Martin. “I just tried to produce something that contained all the elements that were important for a Navy ship that carried the name of our country.”
The sheer number of entries, and their quality, were the things that impressed RADM Martin the most. “It was wonderful that so many New Zealanders cared so much about our new ship that they wanted to submit a design,” he said.
The Ship’s Names & Badges committee convened to review the over 250 designs received. They had no details of the designers so their selection was completely impartial. The panel reduced the submissions down to a top 10 which were given to the Chief of Navy in December to make the final decision.
“My design criteria was very clear,” said RADM Martin. “I asked for designs that were simple yet striking, reflective of the role of the ship and uniquely New Zealand. While I had no idea who submitted the designs, Steven’s immediately stood out. The fish hook elegantly blended the Maori legend of Aotearoa’s origin with the replenishment role that the ship will be responsible for.”
“Dividing the sea and sky, I saw the white band representing both a long white cloud and an ice shelf – very appropriate given the importance of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica to New Zealand. For a number of reasons this design was an obvious choice for me.
I was genuinely surprised that the winner was one of Navy’s own and I’m thrilled for him.”
Steven’s winning badge design will now form the basis of the formal ship badge.
When HMNZS Aotearoa is commissioned into service in early 2020 she will not only be the new maritime sustainment vessel and fleet tanker but will also enhance combat operational capability, provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief and support monitoring operations in the Southern Ocean.
“I know New Zealanders will be as proud of her as the whole of the Navy will be when she arrives,” said RADM Martin.
Steven works at the Devonport Naval Base as Project Manager responsible for the Inshore Patrol Vessels upkeep and maintenance.