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PUKAKI, the third of the four Inshore Patrol Vessels being built entirely in New Zealand by Tenix in Whangarei, was launched in Whangarei Harbour on Tuesday 6 May.
PUKAKI was formally named on Saturday, 10 May, and with these words “I name this ship PUKAKI and may god bless her and all who sail in her”, Launch Lady Mrs Alison Roxburgh cut the ribbon, releasing the champagne bottle on to PUKAKI’s bow, and the third Inshore Patrol Vessel is now one step closer to her delivery date.
This is another significant step in the introduction into the Navy of seven new ships under Project Protector. The first ship, the Multi-role Vessel, HMNZS CANTERBURY, was commissioned into the Navy in June last year, the first Offshore Patrol Vessel, OTAGO, was launched in Williamstown in November 2006 with sister ship, WELLINGTON, launched in Williamstown in October 2007.
By the end of 2008 the Navy’s Protector Fleet will comprise seven ships of three different classes; one Multi Role Vessel (MRV), two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) and four Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPV).
The Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Ledson says, “‘the naming ceremony for the new Inshore Patrol Vessel PUKAKI is yet another significant milestone in Project PROTECTOR. PUKAKI is the third of four Inshore Patrol Vessels to be launched and the third of it’s name to serve in the RNZN.
The first HMNZS PUKAKI was one of the Loch-class frigates, British-built frigates (from 1944-45) that were transferred to the RNZN in 1948. Because they were named for Scottish Lochs, in NZ service the ships were renamed with New Zealand lake names.
The second was the Lake Class patrol vessel that carried out some of the important multi-agency tasks on which the latest PUKAKI will be focussed - including activities in support of the Ministry of Fisheries, the Department of Conservation and the Customs Service”.
The Commanding Officer (design) of PUKAKI, North Shore man, Lieutenant John McQueen, says of his appointment, “I’m extremely proud and humbled to be named as the first Commanding Officer of PUKAKI and my expectations are very high. I'm under no illusion that the crew and I have a huge challenge ahead in delivering her into service and I am very much looking forward to the opportunity”.
PUKAKI is affiliated to the Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough region.
The Inshore Patrol Vessels will be used to conduct maritime surveillance in support of other agencies such as Customs and Fisheries. They will be able to patrol the New Zealand coastline from the shore to approximately 24 nautical miles.
Pennant No: P3568
Displacement: 340 tonnes
Length overall: 55 metres
Beam: 9 metres
Speed: 25 knots
Range: 3,000 nautical miles
Core ship's company: 20
Government agencies: 4
Additional personnel: 12
PUKAKI will be under the command of Lieutenant John McQueen (North Shore, Auckland). Executive Officer is Sub Lieutenant Grant Bicknell (Napier).