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Endeavour crest


Decommissioned: HMNZS ENDEAVOUR was the Navy's purpose built fleet replenishment tanker designed to refuel ships at sea enabling our frigates and other vessels to operate over long distances for extended periods of time.

ENDEAVOUR operated independently throughout the Pacific and South East Asia as a key capability of the Navy and the New Zealand government has a flexible and versatile force at its disposal. 

ENDEAVOUR was built in South Korea to a commercial design. Her replacement AOTEAROA is being built by the same shipping company.

ENDEAVOUR was delivered to the Ministry of Defence and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy on 8 April 1988 and decommissioned on 15 December 2017. ENDEAVOUR was the third ship of this name to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy and is named after James Cook's HM Barque Endeavour on his first voyage to New Zealand.

Commanding Officer

Commander Martin Doolan, RNZN
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HMNZS Endeavour


HMNZS ENDEAVOUR's capabilities included:

  • Ability to refuel ships at sea, or in overseas ports from the 5,500 tonnes of fuel in her four tanks
  • Ability to 'hot' refuel helicopters from her 150 cubic meter tank while the helicopter hovers over the flight deck
  • Stowage of stores or food for ships or shore support missions using four containers

ENDEAVOUR's role was a replenishment ship meaning she and her ship's company were frequently on the move, carrying supplies and conducting refuelling missions for the RNZN's surface units and ships of other nations. As well, she also undertook supply missions for the Department of Conservation to islands in the South Pacific.

ENDEAVOUR regularly supported the operations of other government agencies.
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  • Replenishment at sea
  • Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief
  • Support for other government agencies, including Foreign Affairs and Trade, Customs and Department of Conservation
  • Helicopter operations
  • Sea training for the Navy


  • Displacement: 7,300 tonnes
  • Beam: 18.4 metres
  • Draught: 7.6 metres laden (4.5 metres empty)
  • Length: 138 metres
  • Speed: 14 knots
  • Range: 10,000 nautical miles
  • Complement: 50


  • Main Gun: Nil
  • Helicopter: One helicopter spot and hangar storage for one helicopter  
  • Small Arms: Numerous small arms ranging from Steyr to 9 mm pistols


  • One Mann Burmeister & Wain diesel (5,300 hp) 

Badge - Ships Crest

ENDEAVOUR's motto 'Nil intentatum' means 'Nothing unattempted'. Her crest features a navigator's compass and the stars of the Southern Cross, symbolising the pioneering navigations and survey work of Captain Cook.

The RNZN and the Taranaki region share a bond, with many people from the region serving our Navy in times of peace and in times of conflict. HMNZS ENDEAVOUR was named to honour our connection to the Taranaki region and her homeport New Plymouth.

Her home port was New Plymouth and her replacement AOTEAROA will retain New Plymouth as her homeport.

The Maritime Sustainment Capability Project - tanker replacement - Aotearoa

The Maritime Sustainment Project (MSC) will replace ENDEAVOUR. On 18 July 2016, the Defence Force announced the $500m vessel's design and capability. South Korean firm Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's biggest shipbuilder, has the contract for the tanker, for delivery in January 2020. 

  • Displacement: 24,000 tonnes
  • Beam: 24.5 metres
  • Draught: 8.5 metres
  • Length: 166 metres
  • Speed: 16 knots
  • Features: Ice-strengthening for operations in Antarctica 

Read more at Navy Today Issue 202 - August 2016.

Recent Activities - 2017/18

Ships and aircrafts are complex pieces of kit, packed with hard-working sailors - all of whom need some time alongside once in a while.

In November 2016, TE KAHA, CANTERBURY, ENDEAVOUR and WELLINGTON along with ships from Australia, Canada, and the United States deployed to Kaikoura following the massive 7.5 earthquake that jolted North Canterbury on 14 November - Operation AWHINA.

January 2017: NZDF Christmas leave period and deployment preparations
February: Passage to Australia - Ex Ocean Explorer
March: Ex Ocean Explorer
April: Singapore; Ex Bersama Shield
May: Singapore; Ex Bersama Shield; RSN 50th Anniversary; Passage to Dili/Darwin 
June: Passage to Cairns & homecoming (return to NZ after fours months away) Radio NZ  TVNZ NZHerald
July: Maintenance period
August: Harbour & sea training; Passage to homeport - New Plymouth
September: Harbour & sea training; preps for deployment; Passage to Marsden Point - Op Pipeline transport fuel around the country to help ease a jet fuel shortage triggered by a damaged oil pipeline
October: Sea training and passage to Australia
November: Final homeport visit to New Plymouth
December: Final harbour entry; Decomissioning Ceremony (15 Dec.)

January 2018: Decommissioned and awaiting final disposal

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