HMNZS Manawanui will provide specialist diving, salvage and hydrography support.
The Royal New Zealand Navy has officially commissioned its latest vessel, HMNZS Manawanui. The vessel was originally built in Norway by Myklebust Verft AS in 2003, where it first served as a commercial offshore support vessel under the name Edda Fonn. New Zealand procured it in 2018 for USD67.3 million in order to replace the survey ship HMNZS Resolution, decommissioned in 2012, and the previous dive tender to bear the HMNZS Manawanui name which left service in early 2018. The acquisition will be used to "deliver the ability for diving and hydrographic specialists to embark and conduct specialised operations such as surveying of lakes, coastlines and harbours, underwater explosive disposal, mine counter measures and underwater search and salvage".
The HMNZS Manawanui is 84.7m in length, with a beam of 18m and 6.8m hull draught. It's full displacement is 5741 tonnes and it boasts a range of 7800 nautical miles at a top speed of 13 knots. The core crew consists of 39 people, with bunks for an additional 27. It was sent from Norway to Frederikshavn in Denmark in February 2019 to be refitted to RNZN specifications, with four diesel electric generators powering two azimuth propulsion systems and three bow thrusters. Divers will use a IHC Hytech 3 person wet bell and Surface Supply Breathing Apparatus through an enclosed moon pool. It also carries a AAB Seaeye Cougar Remotely Operated Vehicle. Lieutenant Commander Andrew Mahoney has been named as the commander of the Manawanui.
Jane's Defence reports that the vessel arrived in New Zealand following a 46 day-long journey via the Panama Canal. Having traveled 11,570 n miles (21,427 km) to its new home, it was officially commissioned on June 7th at Devonport Naval Base in Auckland by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
According to the Royal New Zealand Navy, "possible missions for the ship will include surveying harbours and approaches after a natural disaster prior to larger support ships landing support equipment and personnel, providing support to the ongoing mission to eradicate explosive remnants of war in the South Pacific and salvage operations to find and recover submerged objects".