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Naming of Aotearoa

News: New Zealand's Newest Navy Ship Christened In South Korea


25 October 2019


Four of the more important words any Chief of Navy looks forward to hearing during their tenure are “I name this ship …” as it means the Navy’s fleet is about to receive an addition.


Today in Ulsan, South Korea, Rear Admiral David Proctor was delighted to hear Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy name the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) newest and largest-ever ship, Aotearoa, at a ceremony at the Hyundai Shipyard.


Just five months after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern named the RNZN’s replacement diving support and hydrographic vessel HMNZS Manawanui, Dame Patsy was able to do likewise for the RNZN’s new sustainment vessel.


After the ceremony, Dame Patsy said how proud she was to be given the honour of sponsoring Aotearoa and officially naming her.


“Aotearoa will carry the name of our country to all corners of the world, and I’m sure the ship and her crew will bring credit to all New Zealanders,” Dame Patsy said.


Aotearoa’s predecessor, HMNZS Endeavour, was built and launched at the Hyundai Shipyard in 1987, Rear Admiral Proctor said.


“Our relationship with Hyundai Heavy Industries goes back more than 30 years and with Aotearoa the RNZN will take possession soon of a maritime sustainment vessel that will be one of the most technologically advanced available,” he said.


At 173m long, Aotearoa will be the largest ship the RNZN has ever had in the fleet. It boasts state-of-the-art design and capability features, including ice-strengthening and “winterisation” for operations in Antarctica.


She will operate as a fleet tanker and a supply ship and has the ability to produce 100 tonnes of fresh water each day – critical when providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.


Following her sea trials, Aotearoa will sail to New Zealand in March next year and will be formally commissioned at the Devonport Naval Base in April.


Photo of Captain Simon Rooke, Commanding Officer (Designate) of Aotearoa, Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO Governor General of New Zealand and the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, in front of Aotearoa.


Sailor of the Year 2019

Acting/Leading Seaman Combat Specialist Sione Latu


16 October 2019


The Sailor of the year award recognises exceptional performance among junior rates, and the significant contribution they make to our navy in achieving our mission


2019's award winner is Acting/Leading Seaman Combat Specialist (A/LSCS) Sione Latu who joined the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) in October 2008 as an Ordinary Seaman Combat Specialist. A/LSCS Latu has developed into a quietly influential member of the RNZN and is an embodiment of the core values and qualities expected of the modern sailor. He is a natural leader who often prefers to exercise influence in the background rather than leading from the front.


A/LSCS Latu is described as 'consistently exceeding the expectations of his rank", evident in his initiative and undertaking of additional roles while delivering training and support for numerous ceremonial events at a level of a much senior sailor. His leadership, integrity, self-confidence and belief in himself is demonstrated in his courage to do what he believes is right and accepting responsibility for what needs to be done, regardless of the size or complexity of the task.


A/LSCS Latu is an exemplary sailor who continually demonstrates commitment to his trade, the Navy and the wider NZDF. For his readiness to commit and contribute selflessly to the Royal New Zealand Navy, A/LSCS Latu was awarded the Chief of Navy Commendation for Sailor of the year 2019.


Photo- A/LSCS Latu receiving the Sailor of the Year award from the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor.



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