Prime Minister ‘Sponsors’ New Navy Ship

May 8, 2019 – When the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new diving support and hydrographic survey vessel is formally commissioned early next month, it will be Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who will be announcing, “I name this ship Manawanui”. A bottle of wine will be broken on the bow and the baptism of the latest addition to the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) fleet will be complete, continuing the centuries-old tradition of sponsorship of navy ships. Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor was delighted Ardern had accepted the invitation…

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Death of RNZN Sailor

March 27, 2019 – The New Zealand Defence Force is saddened to confirm that Able Communications Technician Zachary Christopher Yarwood (23) died in North Shore Hospital yesterday following an incident during a dive training exercise on Monday night at the Devonport Naval Base. Able Communications Technician Yarwood joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2013 and served in HMNZS Te Kaha and Philomel. At the time of the incident, he was on an advanced diver training course, looking to join HMNZS Matataua as a qualified diver. “My condolences are with…

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Navy Officer Gets Experience on American Icebreaker to Antarctica

February 22, 2019 – Lieutenant Sophie Going joined the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) for travel and adventure and she has found both, travelling to Antarctica recently on an American icebreaker. Lieutenant Going, 26, from Devonport, will be the navigator on the RNZN’s new ship Aotearoa, which is scheduled to enter service in 2020. That ship will travel to Antarctica every two years, so to help prepare Lieutenant Going joined the crew of the United States Coastguard ship Polar Star to experience its icebreaking operation on the month-long voyage. Aotearoa,…

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ANZAC spirit alive and well on OCEAN EXPLORER

February 25, 2019 – HMAS Success has welcomed eight members of the Royal New Zealand Navy on board for part of the ship’s final deployment before she’s decommissioned in June. The Royal New Zealand Navy contingent, consisting of three officers and five junior sailors, jumped at the chance to sail in Success just a week after the Royal Australian Navy extended an invitation for them to join ‘Battle Tanker’ on her final voyage as a ‘Her Majesty’s Australian Ship’. Prior to sailing, the Kiwi’s relished the chance to get out and about to enjoy the…

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Joint NZDF-MPI Patrols Inspect More Than 70 Vessels

January 16, 2019 – About 50 commercial fishing vessels were among 74 vessels inspected during joint patrols conducted recently by the New Zealand Defence Force and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The three-week operation involved Compliance staff from MPI, offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft. Simon McDonald, Manager for Fisheries Compliance, Liaison and Coordination at MPI, said the operation targeted both inshore and deep-water fisheries and covered the Chatham Rise, the east coast of the South Island, Taranaki and…

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New Chief of Royal New Zealand Navy Takes Command

November 29, 2018 – Rear Admiral David Proctor became the first General List officer with a logistics background to be appointed Chief of Navy when he assumed command of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) at Devonport Naval Base today. The Chief of Navy position has typically been a warfare officer role. In a Change of Command ceremony Rear Admiral Proctor, Chief of Navy designate, reported for duty at the main parade ground at Devonport this morning and accepted the challenge from the RNZN Maori Cultural Group, taking the wero…

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Journey to Find New Zealand’s New Dive & Hydrographic Vessek

In August this year the Minister of Defence announced the purchase of the Norwegian survey vessel Edda Fonn to close the capability gap created with the decommissioning of the survey ship HMNZS Resolution and the dive tender HMNZS Manawanui. This announcement came after eight busy months for the Diving and Hydrographic Vessel (DHV) project team of business case writing and undertaking a robust but rapid selection process that would enable the purchase of a vessel to meet the NZDF requirements within the set budget. The Diving and Hydrographic Vessel (DHV)…

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New Dive and Hydrographic vessel for Royal New Zealand Navy

August 22, 2018 – The Government has approved the purchase of a dive and hydrographic support vessel for the Royal New Zealand Navy. An 85 metre Norwegian built multi-role offshore support vessel, the MV Edda Fonn, will be purchased to fill an existing capability gap. Following purchase, the Edda Fonn will be outfitted with the dive and hydrographic systems required by the Defence Force, before being delivered to Devonport Naval Base in May 2019. “The MV Edda Fonn will be a great addition to the Navy,” says Defence Minister Ron…

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‘Birth Day’ of New Zealand’s Largest-Ever Navy Ship

August 14, 2018 – The keel-laying ceremony for the future HMNZS Aotearoa has been held at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The keel laying, marking the official “birth day” of the ship, is an important ceremonial occasion, which has traditionally represented the laying of the initial piece of timber that would make up the ship’s backbone. Aotearoa’s keel laying consisted of more than 500 tonnes of carefully constructed keel blocks being positioned together in the dry dock, where she will continue to expand upwards and outwards…

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Masterton Naval Officer Commands International Fleet

When he’s not a career naval officer, Captain Blair Gerritsen would describe himself as an enthusiastic mid-handicap golfer and part-time farmer in Masterton. However, this month duty calls as he takes command of a naval Task Group larger than the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) fleet. Captain Gerritsen is the first New Zealander to be assigned the role of Sea Combat Commander (SCC) for one of the two Strike Groups that constitute the two main forces in the world’s largest international maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), taking place…

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Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018 Launched

Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced the release of the Review of Defence Procurement Policies and Practices for Major Capability Projects. The report, prepared by Sir Brian Roche as the independent reviewer, has found that Defence has a robust procurement system, and has made strong inroads with embedding a new way of working. “In early 2018, Cabinet agreed to review Defence procurement,” says Ron Mark. “In opposition I was a huge critic of Defence procurement. A view that was reinforced when my first act as Minister was dealing…

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Combined NZ-Fiji Patrols Inspect Six Vessels for Illegal Fishing

Combined maritime surveillance patrols by New Zealand and Fiji agencies recently identified six commercial fishing vessels alleged to have been fishing illegally in a traditional fishing ground (iqoliqoli). Aisake Batibasaga, the Director of Fisheries, said Fiji fisheries officers, together with New Zealand and Fiji personnel currently conducting combined maritime patrols, boarded and inspected the vessels in Qelelevu Lagoon in accordance with their legal mandate. “The six vessels were identified following information received by the Fiji Naval Division’s Maritime Surveillance Centre from customary fishing rights owners concerned about possible illegal activity,”…

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NZDF to Strengthen Engagement in Asia-Pacific

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has deployed Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana to the Asia-Pacific over the next five months, as it seeks to strengthen engagement with countries in the region. Commander Lisa Hunn, the Commanding Officer of Te Mana, said the ship would take part in several international exercises as part of its deployment. “Participating in joint military exercises provides great training opportunities for the ship’s crew members and also helps build trust through cooperation with other regional military forces,” she said. In the first…

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NZDF to Provide Maritime Patrol Support to Fiji

Royal New Zealand Navy’s inshore patrol vessel Royal New Zealand Navy’s inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Taupo left Auckland today to spend the next three months conducting maritime patrols in Fiji. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), with support from the Ministry for Primary Industries, will help Fiji patrol its vast Exclusive Economic Zone and train its Navy sailors for the second consecutive year. The patrols by HMNZS Taupo, in support of the Republic of Fiji Navy, will involve the usual compliance monitoring activities, which include two Fishery Officers from New…

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New Zealand Defence Force’s Hospital on the Seas

For the first time, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is fully capable of performing operations and trauma care on a Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) ship, with a hospital operating theatre, intensive care unit, x-ray and ultra-sound facilities, and blood bank. An NZDF contingent is in Vanuatu taking part in Exercise Tropic Major, which includes testing multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury’s ability to deploy a maritime medical capability, with a team of 21 medical personnel that includes a surgeon, anaesthetist, nurses, medics and a medical scientist. Officer in Charge Major…

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