NZDF Begins Summer Season in Antarctica

November 14, 2019 – The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has begun its annual support to Antarctica, with more than 200 personnel from all three Services being deployed over the summer season. The NZDF has been involved in Antarctica since 1955, supporting New Zealand’s contribution to international efforts to improve scientific knowledge and safeguard the pristine environment. Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said New Zealand had important interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. “By providing skilled people and advanced military equipment, we’re able to contribute…

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NZDF Joining Multi-National Military Exercise in Australia

July 1, 2019 (released July 10, 2019) – More than 600 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel, 27 New Zealand Army light armoured vehicles, three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Canterbury are on their way to Australia for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019. This is the third time New Zealand has been invited to take part in the exercise, which is a bilateral, Australian-hosted and United States-supported combined exercise that is held every two years to improve combat readiness, exercise war fighting…

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New Zealand Updates P-8A Plans

June 12, 2019 – Defence Minister Ron Mark has detailed further progress on refreshing the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s aircraft fleets at Whenuapai Air Base today. This follows yesterday’s release of the Coalition Government’s Defence Capability Plan 2019, and the announcement of the C-130J-30 Super Hercules as the preferred option to replace the aging Hercules fleet. “Last year the Coalition Government decided to buy four P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The P-8s are a once in a generation purchase, and will ensure that the Air Force’s crucial maritime patrol capability is…

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Kiwi Sailors Return from HMAS Canberra Deployment

June 9, 2019 – A small contingent of Royal New Zealand Navy officers and sailors returned home after spending almost three months deployed in HMAS Canberra as part of INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019. Lieutenant Matthew Gajzago, the senior RNZN officer deployed in HMAS Canberra, said it was an amazing opportunity to further build on the already strong ties between Australia and New Zealand. “It’s always really great integrating, networking and forming new friendships with Aussies,” Lieutenant Gajzago said. “This trip has given us a great opportunity to gain more experience in…

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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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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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NZDF Hydrographers Survey Cavalli Islands

October 5, 2018 – Twelve New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) hydrographers are currently surveying the equivalent of 11,200 rugby fields around the Cavalli Islands off Northland. The 10-week training survey, which started in early September and aims to cover about 113 square kilometers, will enhance the hydrographers’ skills in generating military charts. “The survey tests the skills of our hydrographic surveyors in generating military charting overlays,” Lieutenant Commander Dan Wierenga, who leads the NZDF’s Military Hydrographic Group, said. “Our military hydrographers provide vital information for NZDF ships to operate safely…

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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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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 Participate in World’s Largest Maritime Military Exercise

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending a warship, three aircraft, and more than 300 personnel to take part in the world’s largest international maritime military exercise. Twenty-six nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, scheduled from 27 June to 2 August around Hawaii and southern California. New Zealand’s contingent includes the frigate HMNZS Te Mana, specialist divers from HMNZS Matataua, an air surveillance and reconnaissance force…

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