New Zealand Navy’s IPVs Keep Busy Patrolling Their Coastline

New Zealand Navy’s IPVs Keep Busy Patrolling Their Coastline

Two of the New Zealand Navy’s Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) have steamed over 5000 nautical miles – six times the length of New Zealand – in the past four weeks patrolling New Zealand’s coastline.

HMNZ Ships ROTOITI and TAUPO have been hard at work patrolling New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covering almost 9,500km, the equivalent of six lengths of New Zealand between them, as they conducted maritime surveillance in support of government agencies.

The entirety of New Zealand’s mainland coastline has been covered at least once during their patrolling efforts last month.

The ships’ taskings have included patrol of marine reserves for illegal fishing, surveillance of overseas vessels entering New Zealand waters in support of NZ Customs, and providing enthusiastic manpower for track maintenance and clearance with the Department of Conservation.

The ships have reported on locations of over 80 commercial vessels, and encountered more than 230 recreational vessels.

The six ports visited during these surveillance patrols highlights the scope of national coverage achieved. Between the two ships, they have visited Bluff, Lyttelton, Nelson, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, and Whangarei.

 “Interaction with the maritime community is so important,” says Commanding Officer HMNZS ROTOITI, Lieutenant (LT) Kane Sutherland.

“Hails and boardings are effective, but so is the fact that we’re seen sailing past regularly. These patrols are a key means of protecting New Zealand’s precious maritime resources.”

Fellow Commanding Officer, LT Damian Gibbs of HMNZS TAUPO adds.

“Our work is not just at sea; our presence in port also has an education effect – reminding New Zealand recreational and commercial mariners of their responsibilities and obligations in our waters.”

Concurrent to their maritime surveillance efforts, ROTOITI is also conducting sea training to develop the next generation of IPV Commanding Officers. The seven trainees onboard have been learning to navigate the coastline, and will become the next tranche of naval guardians operating about New Zealand’s coastline.

The IPVs were acquired for maritime patrol of New Zealand’s EEZ, supporting multi-agency operations, and protection of New Zealand’s maritime interests. These ships are delivering a high level of service throughout New Zealand, and ensuring a Naval presence is felt nationwide.

Naval Today Staff, March 7, 2013; Image: New Zealand Navy