Royal New Zealand Navy to decommission diver support ship HMNZS Manawanui

Royal New Zealand Navy diving support vessel HMNZS Manawanui is scheduled to pay a final visit to her homeport city later this month before being officially decommissioned in February.

The town of Whitianga in the Waikato Region of New Zealand’s North Island, is the home port for Manawanui, though it is not based there.

The ship will be in Whitianga from January 30 to February 5 for ceremonies and parades before it is decommissioned on February 23 at Devonport.

Manawanui is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s diving and mine counter-measures ship and was commissioned into the Navy in 1988. She was built in the UK in 1979 as a diving support vessel, the Star Perseus, for North Sea oil rig operations.

She is fitted with a triple lock compression chamber, a wet diving bell, a 15 tonne crane and workshop facilities including electric and gas welding equipment and a lathe. She has a four-point anchoring system to keep the ship in position when undertaking diving operations.

Manawanui is the third ship of this name to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy. The name translates as “Big Heart”.

Manawanui, and the hydrographic ship HMNZS Resolution which was decommissioned in 2012, are being replaced by a single ship which will carry out both functions.