Royal New Zealand Navy patrol boat HMNZS Taupo has arrived in Suva, Fiji ahead of a three-month maritime security deployment.

This will be the second consecutive year that the Royal New Zealand Navy, supported by specialist personnel from the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, will patrol Fijian waters in support of local authorities.

HMNZS Taupo is a Lake Class inshore patrol vessel, ordered under Project Protector and commissioned in 2008. She has capacity for 36 crew and specialist support personnel to be embarked, and this deployment will see two Fishery Officers from New Zealand embarked to provide expert advice during boarding operations as well as members of the Fijian Navy being trained by their New Zealand counterparts.

The deployment follows last year’s successful deployment of the Taupo’s sister ship HMNZS Hawea which spent several months working with the Fijian Navy to patrol their vast Exclusive Economic

Zone which encompasses more than 1.1 million square kilometres.

The New Zealand Defence Force’s Commander Joint Forces Major General Tim Gall, who met the vessel in Suva, said the combined maritime surveillance operations with Fiji was a major contribution to multinational efforts within the South West Pacific region to ensure sustainable management of fishery resources.

“We also expect the patrols to deepen collaboration between New Zealand and Fiji government agencies and strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries,” Major General Gall said.

The combined maritime patrols with Fiji last year achieved strong results, with about 550 vessels boarded and 110 alleged infringements detected. About 50 Fiji Navy sailors, 27 Customs Officers and 19 Fishery Officers also trained on Hawea.

Last year’s deployment saw strong results. HMNZS Hawea boarded over 550 vessels, detecting 110 alleged infringements. She embarked 50 Fijian Navy sailors, 27 Customs Officers and 19 Fishery Officers who were able to learn from their New Zealand counterparts.

Royal New Zealand Navy Captain Dave McEwan, the Maritime Component Commander, said learning was a two-way process and the New Zealand sailors learnt as much from their Fiji Navy partners.

“We hope to replicate the success of last year’s combined patrols and contribute to Fiji’s maritime security,” he said.

The Fijian Navy numbers approximately 300 personnel and operates eight vessels. Two donated Australian-built Pacific class patrol vessels (a third was sunk in 2016), four Israeli built Dabur class patrol vessels and two small American build vessels. Two new Guardian class patrol vessels are currently on order from Austal under the Australian government’s Pacific Patrol Boat replacement project.

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The photo is of HMNZS Otago, an Offshore Patrol Vessel – HMNZS Taupo is an Inshore Patrol Vessel.


“Royal New Zealand Navy patrol boat HMNZS Taupo has arrived in Suva, Fiji … … HMNZS Taupo is a Lake Class inshore patrol vessel, ordered under Project Protector and commissioned in 2008.” Is that right? According to Wikipedia there have been two recent vessels HMNZS Taupo, the 35m long 110t Lake Class one commissioned in 1974 and retired in 1991 and the 55m long 340t Protector (inshore) class one commissioned in 2009 and still in service. [ I’m not posting links to the articles because I’ll get moderated if I put in too many links, just search for HMNZS Taupo… Read more »


I believe 2 of the Inshore Lake Class can be seen in the distance on the image.


Whilst I do have Kiwi blood in me from my mothers side, I am actually (and see myself as) only British. Here’s a little more info on the above ship which is actually HMNZS Otago

Good spot by the way.


Half the price of HMS Forth and a hanger as well!


Just goes to show how BAE screwed us over on the River Class. The knew they could charge a high price since the government would always accept it sas they needed to keep the yards running and workers employed to start the Type 26 build.

Tbh I’m not that fussed about the lack of a helicopter since they always operate within range of land based aircraft but what really annoys me is armament. Should of had a 76mm gun at the front and then 30mm guns (or at least 20mm) amidships instead of a singular 30mm.

David Stephen

That’s simply not true. The price of the River batch 2 OPVs was set by the terms of the TOBA. HMG was obligated to provide a certain amount of work (about £300+million) and wasn’t ready to start the Type 26 build so instead of paying the BAE staff to sit idle they ordered the extra OPVs. Normally they would have been cheaper and OPVs don’t need 76mm guns.


it’s not false either. we had a contract to place, that stated the value of work that had to go their way, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have given better spec or more hulls for the money. The type2 are stupidly over priced for what we spent. BAe massively profited from the bad deal that was placed and they choose to do so.


p.s. I can’t blame them for doing so, after all they are a listed company and their remit is to max shareholders returns.


I am trying to think postive regarding the batch 2 Rivers. I suspect that the situation having arisen ( of being committed to spend the money and needing to see something for it) that R2 was the best choice. Apart from Khareef, (which would have thrown a ‘corvette spanner’ in the RN strategy works, ) there weren’t any other designs ready to build. As things have turned out we have recapitalised and enlarged our OPV fleet with global endurance, combat hardened ships ( armoured magazine and combat firefighting resilience), radar and standard RN CMS. The RN will get excellent fisheries,… Read more »


Good work by the RNZN. Their 2 Meko frigates are being upgraded at considerable cost by LM in Canada; Sea Ceptor, new CMS and radar I think. Hopefully they will be T31 customers sometime in the next decade.


Hopefully they would go for more that 3 Type 31 seeing as it represents a loss of capability from the current Anzac Class.


By the time the Kiwis are buying ( late 20’s?) I am guessing the build schedule will be beyond the first batch of RN ‘patrol’ frigates and customers will be specifiying their ‘adaptable’ Type 31e’s rather than RN ‘core’ Type 31, as it were. I see the RN getting a 57mm or refurbed Mk8 and no AShM for example, whereas RNZN would get a 5in and the AShM of their choice. For me the $64,000 question is TSA capability. The published core ‘request for information’ does not ask for a quiet ASW. After all that’s why the T31 costs £250m… Read more »

Brenton Blandford

Yes the RNZN do a lot with a small navy. The RNZN were interested originally in the type 26 but may go for the type 31e providing that warship comes with ASW. The MEKO 200 ANZAC Class frigates are both ASW.and both have the 5 inch gun as well as the new sea ceptor and CIWS systems so hopefully type 31e will have that as well. However NZ being a maritime nation like UK relies heavily on trade and of course subsequent protection. The RNZN pulls it’s weight. When I joined there were 4 leaders, 2 Whitby class ASW frigates.… Read more »


Those IPV’s look a lot like our USCG Fast Response Cutters building now.

Same mission obviously.



That argument just dosnt make sense,why didn’t we get £300 million worth of ship building in that case?We could have had souped up ships or even more unwanted ships for same money. It’s an almighty disaster and hundreds of millions have been wasted.
I can see no reason to fit a 76mm gun ,It’s either too much or not nearly enough. Helicopters and UAVs that can massively extend surveillance and possibly bite with missiles and torpedoes can change everything.


simple answer is if you go into a deal saying I want to spend £300m with you and only you, what can you give me, 9/10 you get shafted, since you have played all your negotiation cards.

the only place to put the blame is the government, for getting themselves into such a stupid position in the first place.