Skip to main content

HMNZS Canterbury loads up for Napier

The multi-role vessel is the third Royal New Zealand Navy ship tasked to Cyclone Gabrielle relief efforts.

21 February, 2023

Click here for the latest live updates on our response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

HMNZS Canterbury, recently returned from a sub-Antarctic mission, departed Lyttelton on Monday evening loaded with supplies and equipment for Hawke’s Bay.

Canterbury had been undertaking a scientific mission at Campbell Island involving Department of Conservation, MetService and the Sir Peter Black Trust when she was retasked.

After refueling in Lyttelton over the weekend, Canterbury was loaded with supplies including five Bailey Bridges, six utility vehicles, 20 generators, 50 gas bottles, and 120 emergency packs, as well as specialist staff from other government agencies such as Environment Canterbury, St John’s, and Waka Kotahi.

Commander Bronwyn Heslop, Commanding Officer, said the scientists disembarked in Lyttelton but were positive about what they were able to achieve down south. “They were stoked because they got their priority jobs done,” she said.

The crane on HMNZS Canterbury lifts a container onto the ship under blue skies.

HMNZS Canterbury loading supplies.

HMNZS Canterbury under blue skies with a commercial truck with grey containers on it (left) and a NZ Army Unimog (right)

HMNZS Canterbury and a NZ Army Unimog at Lyttleton.

A soldier in full camouflage and black boots pushing a pallet of cardboard boxes within HMNZS Canterbury.

NZ Army and Navy load HMNZS Canterbury with supplies in Lyttleton

The crew were excited to be involved. “People on board were happy to know that we’re going to where Kiwis need us. This is the ship that does this sort of thing, and everyone is keen to get there and do our bit. It’s great doing scientific and conservation work, but that will be there for later.”

Frigate HMNZS Te Mana was tasked to Napier last week, delivering 26 tonnes of relief aid, including food, water, shelters, fuel, clothing and electrical generators. Over the weekend Te Mana’s crew undertook hands-on relief work in the community, helping clear rubbish and debris.

HMNZS Manawanui, which delivered aid to Gisborne, conducted welfare visits, supplying food, water and newspapers to remote communities on the East Coast north of Gisborne.