South Pacific Patrols
The Offshore Patrol Vessels OTAGO and WELLINGTON regularly visit islands of the South Pacific where they undertake defence diplomacy, training and civil support duties, and participate in multi-national fisheries patrols.
The Offshore Patrol Vessels have also undertaken forward basing trials in Tonga, to test the ships ability to maintain patrols over a long period in the Pacific, and to strengthen ties with the Tongan Defence Force.
Right: Seasprite drops fuel drum on Penrhyn Island.
Other ships of the RNZN are also regular visitors to the South Pacific. HMNZS CANTERBURY regularly participates in humanitarian operations, including operation PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP and PACIFIC RELIEF. In early 2016, HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMNZS WELLINGTON delivered humanitarian aid and disaster relief to remote islands in the Fiji Island group after tropical cyclone Winston ravaged Fiji. It was one of NZDF's largest peacetime deployments to the Pacific - close to 500 combat engineers, soldiers, sailors and aircrew deployed to Fiji working alongside the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, the Australian Defence Force and the French military.
Other operations include fisheries patrols supporting fisheries management in the south west Pacific by deploying ships and aircraft to conduct annual patrols.