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Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN)

The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) is the senior service in New Zealand's defense establishment. The Chief of Navy (CN) commands the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). CN is also responsible for generating the Navy's military capability (people, ships, equipment and infrastructure). Ships and other units are assigned to the operational command of the Maritime Component Commander Joint Forces New Zealand (MCC JFNZ) through the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand for the generation of military capability. (The Commander Joint Forces New Zealand resumes operational command of designated units for specific operations conducted under OC 16.)

The Naval Combat Forces, TE KAHA and TE MANA and embarked SH2G helicopters are prepared to conduct maritime operations. Both frigates are available, at designated degrees of notice, for military tasks across the spectrum of military operations. The LEANDER Class frigate, CANTERBURY, was decommissioned in March 2005.

The Naval Support Force (NSF) comprises the fleet replenishment ship, ENDEAVOUR, which is prepared to provide operational and maritime logistic support, in particular fuel, for deployed military forces. The NSF was enlarged by the addition of the new multi-role vessel in late 2006. This vessel provides the NZDF with a military sealift capability.

The Naval Patrol Force comprises two Offshore Patrol Vessels and four Inshore Patrol Vessels, which were delivered between 2006 and 2007. In the interim the five Inshore Patrol Craft, KAHU, MOA, KIWI, WAKAKURA and HINAU provided a limited capability.

The Navy maintains a Hydrographic Data capability that is used to provide hydrographic and oceanographic information to support military operations, (including maritime mine warfare and amphibious operations). It also provides the capabilities required to meet Land Information New Zealand requirements under contract, and to support selected third parties. The hydrographic and oceanographic survey vessel, RESOLUTION, provides the primary collection capability with specialist personnel in the Navy's Hydrographic Business Unit and the Joint Geospatial Support Facility providing data processing and information management. The Survey Motor Boat ADVENTURE is also part of the Navy's hydrographic capacity.

The Mine Counter-Measure (MCM) Forces conducted maritime mine warfare operations. This capability was provided by MANAWANUI and the Operational Diving Team (ODT).

Project Protector was formed to acquire a Multi-Role Vessel (MRV), and Offshore and Inshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs and IPVs). The primary role of the MRV is to provide the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) with a tactical sealift capability. In addition to this role, the MRV is able to provide a response capability to contingency operations in the New Zealand EEZ and the South Pacific, conduct sea training for the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and contribute to the off shore patrol effort. The OPVs and IPVs are to be operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy to conduct tasks for and with the NZDF, New Zealand Customs, the Department of Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Fisheries, Maritime New Zealand and the New Zealand Police.

In 2004, the Government approved a project budget of NZ$500 million excluding GST. The following are the estimated costs (NZ$K) at this current stage of the project for each ship and class. The project is yet to be closed so final costs per vessel and class have yet to be finalised. The costs provided below is an interim assessment of the vessel costs to date with costs for project management, spares, contingency and Government Furnished Equipment apportioned across the three ship classes:

Cost per class
Cost per ship
MRV 176,874 176,874
OPV 182,687 91,343
IPV 124,557 31,139
Total 484,118  

Contract was signed on 28 July 2004, with Tenix Defence Pty Limited (now BAE Systems Australia) for the provision of seven ships, comprising one MRV, two OPVs, and four IPVs. The MRV was built in the Netherlands, the two OPVs in Melbourne and the four IPVs in Whangarei . The New Zealand industry content achieved was $135.4 million which exceeded the contracted requirement of $110 million by 23%. 85 major New Zealand companies and approximately 400 others were involved in the provision of work or equipment for Project Protector. Three New Zealand companies were awarded over $10 million of work and about 10 with contracts over $1 million. The Multi Role Vessel was named HMNZS Canterbury at her launch in Rotterdam on 11 February 2006 . The two OPVs were named HMNZS Otago and HMNZS Wellington at their launch on 18 November 2006 and 27 October 2007 respectively. The four IPVs were named HMNZS Rotoiti (on 4 August 2007) HMNZS Hawea (15 December 2007), HMNZS Pukaki (10 May 2008), and HMNZS Taupo (23 August 2008) at ceremonies in Whangarei shortly after their launch.

HMNZS Canterbury was delivered on 31 May 2007 and commissioned into RNZN service on 12 June 2007 in Melbourne. She has since completed her RNZN introduction to service programme and has undertaken a range of exercises around New Zealand, the Pacific, South East Asia and Australia as well as operations in Timor Leste, Indonesia, and supported the tsunami relief efforts in Samoa demonstrating the significant and intended capability of this ship. All four IPVs have been delivered and have been successfully introduced into RNZN service and are now undertaking their designed role of multi-agency tasks around New Zealand. Both OPV's have also been delivered. HMNZ Ships Otago and Wellington completed their RNZN operational and system qualification testing in September 2010.

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