Navy Welcomes New Vessels

April 15, 2009, Wellington -- Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Ledson says the upcoming delivery of the four new Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) is an important and significant step for the Navy, the New Zealand Defence Force, and the whole country.

The Minister of Defence announced earlier today that the four ships, ROTOITI, HAWERA, PUKAKI and TAUPO are soon to be delivered, beginning with ROTOITI, which will be officially handed over to the Navy on Friday 17th April in Whangarei, before sailing to Devonport Naval Base on Friday 24th April.

The ship will be affiliated to the port of Napier and the Hawke's Bay region, reflecting the special relationship with the Navy that stretches back to the 1931 earthquake.

"The delivery of these ships reflects a lot of hard work by the New Zealand Defence Force, in particular the Navy, and the Ministry of Defence," Rear Admiral Ledson said.

"The IPVs will be very capable ships and they will provide increased opportunities for our Sailors, both in the Regular Force and Naval Volunteer Reserve Forces, to have new and exciting challenges and experiences. Importantly, too, they will enable the Navy to make a wider contribution both to New Zealand in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and further a field, particularly in the South Pacific." Rear Admiral Ledson said.

"Along with the new Offshore Patrol Vessels and the Air Force's P3 Orion Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, they will provide a 'step up' in the Defence Force's ability to work in close partnership with government agencies such as Department of Conservation, Ministry of Fisheries, Police, Customs and the Ministry of Foreign affairs and Trade to address New Zealand's security challenges."

"We're grateful to the contractor, BAE, for their contribution to the significant effort that has gone in to securing the delivery of these impressive new ships. Today is a very exciting day for the Navy," Rear Admiral Ledson said.

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