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HMNZS Otago is one of our Navy's two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). The ships are designed for maritime surveillance, supply and support and patrol missions around New Zealand’s 15,000-kilometre coast, the Southern Ocean and into the Pacific.

Royal New Zealand Navy's HMNZS Otago sailing on the ocean on a nice day with blue sky.

Otago operates throughout New Zealand’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Southern Ocean and the Pacific. She undertakes a range of roles including patrolling, surveillance, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, support to peacekeeping operations and sea training for the Navy.

Otago was delivered to the Ministry of Defence and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy on 18 February 2010. Otago is the second ship of this name to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

The OPV’s are designed to undertake patrols and resupply missions in the Southern Ocean. While the ships cannot enter ice fields, they have the range and cold-climate capability to undertake operations around our sub-Antarctic islands including the Auckland and Campbell Islands.

The OPVs’ conduct maritime patrols in conjunction with the Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft in the New Zealand EEZ, Southern Ocean and South Pacific. The surveillance tasks are primarily non-military in support of civilian agencies and involve specialist staff from government agencies such as Foreign Affairs, Customs and Fisheries.

The OPVs’ have a complement of 42 naval personnel and also have the capacity to host 36 additional personnel onboard for general naval training or other duties, including Government agency officers.

The OPVs’ are capable of many roles including maritime patrol, surveillance and response. They have the ability to conduct helicopter operations using a Super Seasprite SH-2G(I) helicopter, boarding operations using the ships Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats, or Military Support Operations with embarked forces.

The two ships regularly work with government agencies such as Primary Industries (fisheries), Customs, Police and the Department of Conservation and are frequent visitors to ports throughout the country and the Pacific. The OPVs’ regularly support the operations of other government agencies.

Homeport: Dunedin
Ship Sponsor: Dame Silvia Cartwright

Ship's Badge

HMNZS Otago Badge

HMNZS Otago's Badge

Motto: He Kaitiaki no nga tai ki te tonga (Southern Guardian).

In 1958, secondary school pupils from the Otago province were invited to design a badge for the new Rothesay-class frigate HMNZS Otago (F111). Ernest Pope from Roxburgh Hydro School was selected as the winning entry. His badge design featured a claymore (Scottish broadsword) and a shepherd’s crook crossed over blue and white lines representing the sea.

HMNZS Otago was decommissioned in 1983 but in 2010 a new Offshore Patrol Vessel, HMNZS Otago (P148) was commissioned and took the older ship’s badge.

Our Navy and the Otago region share a bond, with many people from the region serving our Navy in times of peace and in times of conflict. HMNZS Otago is named to honour our connection to the Otago region and her homeport Dunedin.

HMNZS Otago was named by the Ship Sponsor, Dame Silvia Cartwright and is affiliated to the Dunedin (Otago) region.


  • Long range patrols

  • Surveillance and reconnaissance

  • Counter-terrorism

  • Search and Rescue

  • Interception and boarding

  • Apprehension and escort of vessels

  • Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief

  • Support for other government agencies, including Police, Primary Industries, Customs and Department of Conservation

  • Helicopter operations

  • Pollution patrol

  • Sea training for the Navy

  • VIP Transport

  • Defence diplomacy and representational activities in NZ and foreign ports





1,900 tonnes


14 metres


3.6 metres


85 metres


22 knots


6,000 nautical miles


42 (core crew), 12 (flight personnel), plus (additional personnel, including government agencies) Total 80


2 x MAN B&W 12RK280 Diesel Engines



Main Gun

25mm Rafael Typhoon stabilised Naval Gun


One Kaman Super Seasprite SH-2G(I)

Small Arms

Numerous small arms ranging from .50-calibre machine guns to 9mm pistols