Hawke's Bay's strong link with the Royal New Zealand Navy was further strengthened last Saturday when the tidy sum of $22,000 was distributed to service-linked organisations involving the region's young people as well as schools.

The money was raised as the result of a charity cocktail function held aboard the visiting HMNZS Wellington during last month's Tremains Art Deco Festival.

"It was an excellent evening and once again this is an excellent result," Napier's navy liaison officer Neville Smith said.

For the past seven years Mr Smith has been steering the fundraising evenings aboard visiting naval ships with the navy always keen to be part of it.


This year's fundraising saw the Napier Army Cadets receive $4000, the Air Training Corps 13 Squadron $2000 with $2000 also going to the Westshore Sea Scouts.

Representatives of the three organisations were on hand to receive their grants.

The balance would go into the HMNZS Te Kaha Education Grants scheme which was set up to assist students at four secondary schools - Napier Boys' High School, Hastings Boys' High School, Taradale High School and from next year Napier Girls' High School.

The education grant is worth $2000 for individual students.

While there is no requirement for the recipients to join the defence force many do, with Hawke's Bay one of the leading regions in terms of producing top new naval recruits.

For Commodore John Campbell, who travelled to Napier to present the cheques, it was a slightly nostalgic occasion as the groups met at the navy anchor display site off Marine Parade.

The anchor was from the oceanographic ship HMNZS Tui and Commodore Campbell was its last commanding officer before it was decommissioned in 1997.