2019 Oct 28

New Zealand's Largest-Ever Navy Ship Christened

The Royal New Zealand Navy’s largest-ever ship, Aotearoa, has been christened at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

The NZ$493 million Aotearoa is a new Polar-class support vessel that will replace the now decommissioned tanker HMNZS Endeavour to provide global sustainment to New Zealand and coalition maritime, land and air units.

Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand. The literal translation of Aotearoa is "land of the long white cloud."

Aotearoa will be able to carry 12 containers of supplies and have the ability to produce 100 tonnes of fresh water each day, making her invaluable when providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

She will carry 9,500 tonnes of fuel, enough to refuel a frigate like Te Mana or Te Kaha 13.87 times, and she’ll be able to carry and operate a RNZAF NH90 helicopter. Aotearoa will have a core crew of 64 plus 11 flight crew. She will integrate the Rolls-Royce Environship concept design.

The Royal New Zealand Navy is expected to take delivery of the 26,000 tonne tanker Aotearoa in 2020.


The motto for the ship will be K?kiritia: Onward. K?kiritia means to thrust forward, champion a cause, advance, lead or advocate. Onward was the motto that was adopted by HMS New Zealand. Bringing the two together in Te Reo and English reinforces the bi-cultural nature of the RNZN.

Total liquid cargo capacity 9,500 tonnes
Typical dry goods cargo capacity 12 TEUs
Core Crew 64
Bunks 100
Launch: May 2019
Delivery: January 2020
Home port: New Plymouth, Taranaki
Ship Sponsor: The Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy
Class: Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR)
Builder: Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, Republic of Korea
Length: 173.2m
Beam: 24.5m
Displacement: 26,000t

Maximum Speed: 16kt


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