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Burton - Industry Benefits From New Naval Vessels

Hon. Mark Burton Speech
New Zealand industry benefits from new Naval vessels

Ladies and gentlemen

I am delighted to be with you today to cut the steel on the first of the four Inshore Patrol Vessels under Project Protector.

This ceremony is particularly significant as it reflects the New Zealand industry involvement in the project.

Our government is committed to supporting New Zealand industry, which has an international reputation for a highly skilled quality workforce producing high quality work.

This project will provide significant local industry involvement, that will support local employment and generate benefits to a wide range of New Zealand companies

Tenix is contracted to provide at least $110m in work to New Zealand industry for Project Protector from industries around the country including the four main centres and many provincial centres as well as major work here, in Whangarei.

And extra work opportunities for New Zealand companies will arise as Tenix continues its procurement programme over the next 12 months and beyond.

The value to the New Zealand economy of the project is likely to exceed $170 million.

This $500 million project to build seven new ships will see the Navy receive a multi role vessel, two offshore patrol vessels and four inshore patrol vessels over a 12-month period from late 2006.

These new ships will equip the Navy with an enhanced fleet that is modern, sustainable and designed for and matched to New Zealand's needs.

They will provide a significant increase in our capability to meet military and civilian responsibilities throughout New Zealand's extensive exclusive economic zone, across the South Pacific and into the Southern Ocean.

The old inshore Patrol craft have served us well, but the four new Inshore Patrol Vessels will be more than twice the size and speed capability of the vessels they replace and will have a range of more than 3000 nautical miles, more than double that of the old craft. They will accommodate 36 crew and will be armed with three .50 calibre machine guns compared with the IPCs' one.

The vessels are large and robust enough to cross rough, open ocean waters between patrol areas. This minimises the requirement to seek shelter whilst on, or transiting to patrol areas which was the case with the old Inshore patrol Craft.

In addition, the new Inshore patrol Vessels will each be fitted with two rigid hull inflatable boats that will be deployable in comparatively rough seas, compared with the old Inshore patrol Craft that have nothing comparable.

Communications on the Inshore patrol Vessels and their inflatable boats will also be vastly superior with satellite communications, including with other defence platforms and other advanced surveillance equipment.

We have already had a steel cutting ceremony for the Offshore Patrol Vessels in Melbourne this year and steel was cut for the multi role vessel at the shipyard of Tenix's subcontractor in Holland in April.

Today is another milestone for Project Protector, the Navy and the civil agencies that will be making use of the patrol capability the Protector vessels will provide.

Ladies and gentlemen I look forward to seeing this steel take shape into the first of our new Inshore patrol Vessels when the Navy takes delivery in late 2006, three months ahead of schedule.

It is with a great deal of pride and satisfaction that I cut the first steel for our New Zealand built Inshore patrol vessels.


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