HMNZS Canterbury - L421

HMNZS Canterbury is our Protector-fleet amphibious and military sealift vessel. Canterbury provides the New Zealand Defence Force with the ability to transport and deploy personnel, vehicles, and supplies around New Zealand’s 15,000-kilometre coast and overseas.

Conceived as part of Project Protector, the ship was built in the Netherlands by Merewede Shipyards and fitted out by Tenix Shipbuilding (now BAE Systems Australia) in Williamstown.

Canterbury was delivered to the Ministry of Defence and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy on 12 June 2007. Canterbury is the second ship of this name to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Commanding Officer

Commander Martin Walker, RNZN


Canterbury has facilities for accommodating up to 250 personnel and can transport and deploy supporting military vehicles and equipment by Landing Craft, helicopter or ramps.  The ship regularly exercises with units of the New Zealand Army and Air Force, and with forces from Australia and other friendly nations.  Among her capabilities are:

  • The ability to deploy personnel, vehicles and cargo using conventional port infrastructure or directly ship-to-shore using Landing Craft, boats or helicopter airlift
  • The ability to provide medical support to military or civilian operations from a self-contained hospital with surgical capability
  • The ability to manage military or civilian operations from an onboard command and control facility

Canterbury is regularly deployed to the Pacific where she has provided sealift support for military exercises and operations including humanitarian aid and disaster relief. She is also a regular visitor to the sub-Antarctic islands where she assists government agencies such as Department of Conservation, MetService and GNS Science to conduct important scientific and research work.


  • Displacement: 9,000 tonnes
  • Propulsion: 2 x Combined Diesel and Diesel Electric Engines
  • Beam: 23.4 metres
  • Draught: 5.4 metres
  • Length: 131 metres
  • Speed: 20 knots
  • Range: 6,000+ nautical miles at 18 knots
  • Complement: 78 (core crew), 10 (flight personnel), 4 (Govt. agencies), 7 (Army ship's staff), 24 (trainees), 243 (embarked force) Total 366
  • Two medium landing craft (23 metres/60 tonnes)


  • Main Gun: 25mm Bushmaster naval gun
  • Helicopter: Two helicopter spots and hangar storage for four helicopters
  • Small Arms: Numerous small arms ranging from 50 calibre machine guns to 9 mm pistols