The Taranaki community has the chance to take a close up look at the newest member of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s fleet, HMNZS Aotearoa, at an open day next week.
HMNZS Aotearoa sails into Port Taranaki on Wednesday, 21 April for a week-long stay, marking the vessel’s first visit to her ceremonial home port. The visit will include ANZAC Day commemorations.
An open day for the public to view Aotearoa will be held on Saturday, 24 April, between 11am and 2.30pm.
Port Taranaki head of operations Ashley McDonald, a former Australian navy officer, said it was an honour and a thrill to have HMNZS Aotearoa visit.
“Port Taranaki has had a long and proud association with the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and we are very excited to welcome HMNZS Aotearoa and her crew to Taranaki,” Captain McDonald said.
“Port Taranaki was the home port of HMNZS Endeavour, which made her last visit here in November 2017 before she was decommissioned, and we were delighted when it was announced her replacement, HMNZS Aotearoa, would also make Port Taranaki her ceremonial home.
“Aotearoa is the most high-tech ship the RNZN has operated and, at 173m long, is the largest-ever ship in the navy’s fleet, so she will look very impressive berthed at Port Taranaki.
“The public of Taranaki have a unique and exciting opportunity to get aboard and get acquainted with this fantastic vessel, which will play a very important role in the future operations of the RNZN. So we encourage people to come along to the open day,” Captain McDonald said.
HMNZS Aotearoa arrival – From 9.30am, Wednesday 21 April
- Come and welcome HMNZS Aotearoa as she sails into Port Taranaki.
- The best vantage points will be the Lee Breakwater and Ngāmotu Beach.
- Make some noise and wave a sign – the crew would love to see and hear you!
HMNZS Aotearoa public open day – 11am-2.30pm, Saturday 24 April
- Public tours of HMNZS Aotearoa will begin and end at Port Taranaki’s East Gate, on Ocean View Parade, adjacent to the New Plymouth Yacht Club.
- Buses will take groups to the vessel and return.
- Public parking is available along Ocean View Parade and the adjacent reserve.
- Visitors to the ship should wear sensible, covered footwear.
- We’re sorry, but the tour of the ship involves narrow access ways and a number of stairwells making it impractical for those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility.