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Canterbury begins final pre-delivery fit-out

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence

25 September 2006

Canterbury begins final pre-delivery fit-out

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Defence Minister Phil Goff today announced that the first of the project protector ships, the Multi Role Vessel (MRV), Canterbury, arrived in Melbourne yesterday from the Netherlands for the final phase of construction.

"The Canterbury will remain in Melbourne for the next four months while weapon and military communications systems are fitted and the crew undergo training. Once the work is complete, the Canterbury will be commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy and begin the first voyage to New Zealand said Mr Goff.

"During delivery from the Netherlands, the ship encountered a variety of weather, including a series of deep low-pressure systems with 8-9 metre swells and near storm force winds. I am advised that the ship performed exceptionally well in the conditions and provided a very comfortable ride.

"The Canterbury will, for the first time, provide the New Zealand Defence Force with the capability to deploy personnel and equipment by its own means. It will greatly improve New Zealand's ability to respond to natural disasters in the Pacific and elsewhere, and will further enhance New Zealand's contribution to peace and security in our region and beyond.

"The MRV represents yet another significant and careful investment by this Government in our defence force".

"The first of the Offshore Patrol Vessels, one of two being built by Tenix in Melbourne, will be launched in November. The second Offshore Patrol Vessel and the four Inshore Patrol Vessels, being built by Tenix Shipbuilding New Zealand, in Whangarei will be launched and delivered throughout 2007. The total project cost is NZ$500 million with more than $110 million coming to New Zealand industry", said Mr Goff.

ENDS

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