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Support Force: New Ship HMNZS Aotearoa is a new Polar-class support vessel being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, as part of the Maritime Sustainment Capability (MSC) project.

HMNZS Aotearoa is a unique vessel built to replace the now decommissioned tanker HMNZS Endeavour to provide global sustainment to New Zealand and coalition maritime, land and air units. Sustainment is primarily provided through resupply of fuel and secondarily through resupply of dry goods, water, spare parts or ammunition.

HMNZS Aotearoa will enter service in 2020.

Commanding Officer

Captain Simon Rooke, RNZN

HMNZS Aotearoa (A11)


Soon the Royal New Zealand Navy will take delivery of HMNZS Aotearoa -  a 26,000 tonne tanker and replenishment ship that will be largest the Navy has ever operated.

HMNZS Aotearoa will replace the fleet tanker HMNZS Endeavour that decommissioned in December 2017 after more than 30 years of loyal service. Aotearoa will boast state of the art design and capability features including ice-strengthening and ‘winterisation’ features for operations in Antarctica. She will also be able to carry 12 containers of supplies and have the ability to produce 100 tonnes of fresh water each day which will make her invaluable when providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

She will carry 9,500 tonnes of fuel enough to ‘fill up’ a frigate like Te Mana or Te Kaha 13.87 times. And she’ll be able to carry and operate a RNZAF NH90 helicopter. Aotearoa will have a core crew of 64 plus 11 flight crew.

  • Total liquid cargo capacity 9,500 tonnes
  • Typical dry goods cargo capacity 12 x twenty foot equivalent units
  • Core Crew 64
  • Bunks 100

Maritime Sustainment Capability Project - NZ Ministry of Defence
HMNZS Aotearoa will integrate the Rolls-Royce Environship concept design.

Delivery: January 2020
Home port: New Plymouth, Taranaki
Ship Sponsor: The Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM, QSO, DStJ

Class: Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR)
Builder: Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea
Length: 173.2m
Beam: 24.5m
Displacement: 26,000t
Maximum Speed: 16kt

Download PDF Factsheet (pdf, 67kb)

Badge - Ship's Crest

The motto for the ship will be Kōkiritia: Onward. Kōkiritia means to thrust forward, champion a cause, advance, lead or advocate. Onward was the motto that was adopted by HMS New Zealand. Bringing the two together in Te Reo and English reinforces the bicultural nature of the RNZN, while referencing our history.

Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand. The literal translation of Aotearoa is "land of the long white cloud".


In July 2016, the Government approved the purchase of a new naval tanker which will be ice-strengthened and winterised for operations in Antarctica. The project will cost $493 million and will support a full range of NZDF deployments, including maritime sustainment and humanitarian and disaster relief operations.

18 July 2016 The Royal New Zealand Navy announces its newest and biggest ship
25 July 2016 Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), South Korea - prime contractor for the design build and acceptance of a maritime sustainment vessel and its associated support package, signed 25 July 2016 
10 April 2017 'Aotearoa' The Name Chosen for the Navy's Largest Ship - Media Release
01 November 2017 Taranaki to Farewell HMNZS Endeavour - Media Release
12 December 2017 Top 10 Badge Designs for HMNZS Aotearoa Announced - Media Release
05 February 2018 Senior Naval Rating Wins Badge Design Contest  - Media Release
10 April 2018 Feature: Behind the scenes of Aotearoa
13 August 2018 Keel laying ceremony held at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea - Media Release
17 September 2018 The Chief of Navy and New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary approves the ships badge for HMNZS Aotearoa
11 October 2018 The Chief of Navy visits the project team at Ulsan, South Korea
24 October 2018 Aotearoa’s two huge Rolls-Royce engines are installed. Weighing in at 60 tonnes each, producing 5400kW (7200 horsepower each), and will propel the 26,000 tonne Aotearoa at 16 knots through the ocean
30 November 2018 Members of the Royal New Zealand Navy have been training at HMS Raleigh (Royal Navy) in preparation for the delivery of HMNZS Aotearoa, in 2020
A team of 19 have been using the replenishment-at-sea (RAS) training rig at the base in Torpoint, to practice transferring stores, fuel and other items from ship-to-ship at sea. The facility, which started life as a trials platform to test equipment for the new Queen Elizabeth Carriers, is run off a Rolls Royce electric system; the same system which will be fitted to HMNZS Aotearoa
08 January 2019 End to End. Progress photos from Korea show Aotearoa now has both bow and stern components. It is largely a matter of onwards and upwards with the superstructure, towards a launch date in April

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