HMNZS Aotearoa sailed into Wellington this morning on her maiden voyage to the capital, ready for a week of official engagements.
The 26,000-tonne maritime sustainment vessel is the newest in the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) fleet and, at 173 metres in length, the largest ever to have flown the RNZN’s White Ensign.
While in Wellington, the ship and her crew will host visits by parliamentarians and staff from the government agencies the RNZN work with on a regular basis, including Department of Conservation, Ministry of Primary Industries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, GNS Science and MetService.
Aotearoa was designed and built to provide global sustainment to New Zealand and coalition maritime, land and air units through the resupply of marine and aviation fuel, dry goods, water, equipment and ammunition.
Some of her more impressive capability statistics include being able to refuel an Anzac frigate 17 times and a Seasprite helicopter 1180 times, starting from empty.
She can carry 22 shipping containers and her desalination plant can produce 100,000 litres of fresh water a day, adding value to the Defence Force’s operational and humanitarian relief functions.
Because she is berthed at CentrePort, security restrictions mean that a public open day is not possible.