Flotilla is an Auckland Heritage Festival event that celebrates Devonport's significant role in Aotearoa’s anti-nuclear movement spanning 1973 - 1987.

Marking the 50th anniversary since anti-nuclear protests were first embraced by our nation, the highlight of Flotilla will be a fleet of origami boats, created and decorated by students from local schools. Visitors to the two Flotilla venues will be able to make their own origami boats to add to the fleet.

Pick up a printed origami boat template from Devonport Library or the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum - or you can make a boat from a sheet of plain A4 paper. Download instructions.

The Peace Squadron had boats of all shapes and sizes, so feel free to make your own origami boat using any design, and any size!

How to make an origami boat using a printed template

Decorate your boat using your creative genius! Use any materials you like including pens, pencils, crayons, paint, glitter, sequins, gift-wrap, fabric, foil etc. Please use recycled and recyclable materials where you can.

If you want, you can turn your boat into a yacht! Use tightly rolled paper or a paper straw for a mast and fix it to the boat using tape. Cut some sails from paper and use sticky tape to fix them to the mast.


What is Flotilla all about?

Our own history! During the 1970s and 1980s Devonport played a very important role in the peace movement that resulted in New Zealand famously becoming a nuclear free zone in 1987.

Flotilla showcases a timeline of key events that occurred near Devonport including HMNZS Otago setting sail to protest French nuclear testing at Mururoa in 1973, Devonport Borough Council's nuclear-free declaration in 1981, protests on the Waitemata Harbour during U.S. warship visits to Auckland from 1976-83, the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 and events leading to New Zealand becoming a nuclear-free zone in 1987, when the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act was passed.

Aotearoa was the first Western-allied country to officially ban nuclear-armed and powered warships from its territory.

Join the Flotilla

Bring your origami boat to Devonport Library or the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum over the school holidays between 23 September 23 and 8 October to join the Flotilla displays there. The more boats we have, the better!

See the photographic timeline in Devonport Lbrary’s windows. There is a fascinating story to learn about New Zealand’s anti-nuclear protest movement and how Devonport played a key role in this important chapter of recent history.

Did you know?

New Zealand is still a Nuclear Free Zone. Legislation bans nuclear weapons and nuclear propulsion from New Zealand’s land, sea and airspace.

You can’t sink a rainbow. When the French government ordered their secret service agents to sink the Rainbow Warrior it was intended to stop anti-nuclear protest, but it had the opposite effect. Peaceful protest has prevailed.

The International Peace Symbol is a combination of two flag semaphores N and D (Nuclear Disarmament).


Proudly supported by:

Devonport Business Association

Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

Auckland Libraries

Devonport Heritage

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