Permanent poppy street signs have been installed in Whangamata, further highlighting the connection between the town's street names and Royal New Zealand Navy vessels.
Poppy icons were added to specific Whangamata street signs in a combined TCDC, Whangamata RSA and The National Cultural Trust initiative.
The streets are Achilles Ave, Ajax Rd, Bellona Rd, Exeter Rd, Leander Rd, Philomel Rd and Tamaki Rd.
Just after World War II, Jack Iremonger, who had served on the HMS Achilles during the Battle of the River Plate, moved to Whangamata.
Jack opened the Achilles store in Beach Rd, and suggested the road leading to it from Waihi Rd should be called Achilles Ave.
This provided an idea for street names, so in addition to Achilles Ave there are roads named after other NZ navy vessels. HMNZS Leander was commissioned for New Zealand in April 1937 and had war service in the Central Pacific, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Mythology shows Leander would swim across the Dardanelles each night to visit his lover Hero, who was a priestess. One night he drowned and Hero flung herself into the sea.
According to New Zealand RSA history, HMS Philomel was New Zealand's first warship and formed the core of the country's WWI naval forces.
The aged and largely obsolete vessel was commissioned in July 1914. Her first task was to escort an advance party of the NZ Expeditionary Force to Samoa with the aim of capturing the German colony.
HMNZS Tamaki is a shore establishment commissioned for the training of staff for the navy. Originally based at the old quarantine station on Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf, it is now at Devonport.
By 1945, 6000 men and women had trained at HMNZS Tamaki, which has the motto Ake, Ake, Kia kaha - forever be strong.
HMS Achilles, a Leander-class cruiser, was transferred from the Royal Navy and commissioned HMNZS in September 1941.
The Achilles was part of the Battle of the River Plate with over half the crew from New Zealand.
Huge crowds welcomed the ship home with parades in Auckland and Wellington. HMS Ajax had key involvement in battles of the River Plate, Crete and Malta and supply and escort roles in the siege of Tobruk.
HMS Exeter, a York-class heavy cruiser, served at the Battle of the River Plate and patrolled South American waters against German commerce raiders. HMNZS Bellona, a Dido-class cruiser, was commissioned for RNZN service in October 1946. The name Bellona comes from Roman mythology. Bellona was the spirit of fury in war and she was the companion of Mars the Roman god of war.
The Royal New Zealand Navy celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2016 after formation in 1941. Initially, the navy countered the threat of invasion and the threat of mines in New Zealand waters.
Over the years it has surveyed the coastline, resupplied offshore islands and trained many New Zealanders.
- With thanks to Geoff March, Kerry Bain, Anne Stewart Ball and Barry King