Hydrography is the exacting task of accumulating survey data sets to specific standards for the production of charts, nautical publications and military support. The Hydrographic Trade performs this valuable task to meet these civil requirements and to provide the military requirements of the RNZN and the wider NZDF.
Image above right: A Hydrographic Survey Technician downloading a Tide Gauge.
The Hydrographic School is situated in the North Yard of HMNZS PHILOMEL. It has a staff of two instructors and its own dedicated office and classroom. The Hydrographic School conducts a variety of courses, ranging from the Basic Course for new recruits to more senior courses that prepare personnel for their IHO Cat B Certificate Course. With the way the courses and training are structured, there is potential for a recruit to eventually gain an IHO Cat B Surveyors Qualification or higher (these courses are conducted externally). The Hydrographic School conducts up to three Basic Hydrographic Survey Courses, a Leading Hydrographic Survey Technician Course and an IHO Cat B Introduction Course every year. These courses vary in length from 8 weeks for the Basic Course to 19 weeks for the LHST course. The IHO Cat B Course is conducted in Australia at HMAS PENGUIN. This course is six months in duration and on successful completion of the course, and a consolidation period, an IHO Cat B Surveyors Qualification is awarded.
The Hydrographic School curriculum is designed to meet the Military Hydrography outputs for the wider NZDF, and contractual requirements of surveying for other government organisations (such as Land Information New Zealand). The topics taught give a broad range of skills including tidal theory, geodesy, terrestrial survey techniques, hydrographic survey and Geospatial Information Systems.
A potential Hydrographic Surveyor or Survey Technician requires a positive and outgoing attitude, high personal and work standards, and the ability to work in a team environment. Academically a minimum of 5th Form English and Maths is required. All other professional training and personal development is provided by the service.
The Hydrographic Trade offers a wide range of opportunities. Deployments include surveying around the New Zealand coast, Sub Antarctic Islands, the Pacific Islands and Australia. The Hydrographic Trade has supported surveys and exchanges to Australia, the United Kingdom and Antarctica. Personnel can be posted to all major surface units within the RNZN, which have in recent years been deployed to South East Asia and to the Arabian Gulf. The Hydrographic Trade has deployed personnel in support of the NZDF and the United Nations; in recent years these deployments have included Sinai, East Timor and Afghanistan.
The Navy's primary survey and research vessel RESOLUTION
Read job descriptions for a Hydrographic Surveyor or a Hydrographic Systems Operator