Friday, June 01, 2007
Defence Minister, Phil Goff today welcomed the latest addition to New Zealand's Naval fleet. "The acceptance by New Zealand from Tenix of the new multi-role vessel which will shortly be commissioned as the HMNZS Canterbury is a landmark occasion for the Royal New Zealand Navy", Mr Goff said. "At over 9,000 tonnes and 131 metres long, the Canterbury will become the largest ship in our fleet. "It will for the first time give us real sealift capacity. "It adds a valuable strength to our Defence Force, being able to deploy a fully equipped infantry company, together with its armoured and operation vehicles into an area for security or peace-keeping operations.
HMNZS Canterbury (L-421)"It can carry in addition up to four of the new NH90 helicopters on order for the Air Force, and one Seasprite helicopter. "In the event of a serious natural disaster, such as hurricane in the Pacific, it will be invaluable. "It carries two landing craft for islands which, because of reefs, might be inaccessible, and the NH90 helicopter is capable of air-lifting onto the islands the vehicles necessary for relief operations. "The new ship will be fully manned for it's commissioning. "The commissioning will take place on 12 June in Australia and by the end of the month, the ship will visit firstly its home ports of Lyttleton and Timaru, and then Wellington and Auckland. "The acceptance of the ship is a red-letter day for the Navy, which will over the next 12 months see an unprecedented seven new ships commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy", Mr Goff said.