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Navy Names Seven New Ships

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa
Media Release

Friday, 31 March 2006

Navy Names Seven New Ships

The names and affiliated home ports of the Navy's seven new Protector ships were announced by Defence Minister Phil Goff today.

The Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Ledson said that the announcement of the ships' names was another significant milestone in the delivery of 7 new ships under Project Protector. "The names that have been chosen for the new vessels illustrate not only the Navy heritage but the enduring links between the Navy and New Zealand". "These are names that the Navy is very happy with and I'm sure the many ex sailors who served on the original ships will feel exactly the same" he says.

The Navy's Protector fleet will comprise of seven ships of three different classes; one Multi Role Vessel (MRV), two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) and four Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPV).

Ships Names


Hawkes Bay

All seven ships will be commissioned into operational service for the Royal New Zealand Navy at staged intervals during 2007 with the Multi Role Vessel scheduled for January and the last Inshore Patrol Vessel in October 2007.

Background on the Names

The Multi Role Vessel and two Offshore Patrol Vessels are named after Leander Class frigates in commission in the Royal New Zealand Navy from 1966 until 2005. HMNZS CANTERBURY was the last to be decommissioned, on 31 March 2005, after 33 years operational service.

"The Navy has historically enjoyed a strong relationship with the Canterbury District, and we are pleased to be continuing this into the future with our Multi Role Vessel." said the Chief of Navy. "We look forward to re-establishing connections with our capital city and further south in Dunedin, where regional visibility of the Navy has at times been limited."

The Multi Role Vessel brings entirely new capabilities of military sealift and amphibious operations to the Royal New Zealand Navy. It will operate as an element of the Naval Support Force, around New Zealand and in the South East Asian region.

The two Offshore Patrol Vessels are designed as versatile vessels capable of multi-agency operations in support of national security tasks, with a secondary capability to operate in support of miscellaneous maritime operations.

The names chosen for the Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) reflect two classes of earlier RNZN ships of the same names. They represent four of the six LOCH Class Frigates that fought in the Korean War between 1951 and 1953. The names were also used for the LAKE Class Patrol Craft that carried out 'resource protection' patrols around New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s.

The current IPVs are to fulfil a similar protection role, conducting EEZ patrols of New Zealand's maritime borders, and working in a multi-agency environment to achieve government outputs.

The four names maintain a geographical balance - Taupo and Rotoiti[1] being North Island lakes, Hawea and Pukaki being South Island lakes.

Regional Affiliation

Each ship is affiliated with a city and region of New Zealand in continuation of current naval practise. Ships traditionally develop a unique and close relationship with their 'home port'. The locations of affiliated regions were chosen to ensure geographical balance of the Navy's fleet throughout New Zealand.

Associations are developed between a ship and charities or organisations within their region. The ship may be issued a 'Freedom of the City' Charter which allows the officers and sailors onboard the "right and privilege, without further permission being obtained, of marching at all times with drums beating, bands playing, colours flying, bayonets fixed and swords drawn."


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