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Patrol Force: HMNZS TAUPO is a Lake-class inshore patrol vessel of the Royal New Zealand Navy. It is one of the Navy's four Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs).  The ships are designed for maritime surveillance and patrol missions around New Zealand’s 15,000-kilometre coast and out to the 200 nautical mile limit of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The IPVs' primary mission is to ensure the security and prosperity of New Zealanders by undertaking maritime security patrols, surveillance, boarding operations and response to search and rescue call-outs.

Conceived as part of Project Protector, the ships were built in Whangarei by BAE Systems Australia (formerly Tenix Shipbuilding).

TAUPO is the last of the four IPVs that was delivered to the Ministry of Defence and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy on 29 May 2009. TAUPO is the third ship of this name to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy and is named after Lake Taupo.

Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Ethan Moser, RNZN



The IPVs' have fully automated control and navigations system, powerful engines, modern communications and surveillance systems, active stabilisers and comfortable accommodation.  Using their two RHIBs (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats) the IPVs can undertake boarding operations, surveillance and transport personnel. The RHIBs are launched using two automatic davits near the stern of the vessels. The ships are highly manoeuvrable and capable of speeds up to 25 knots (46 kilometres per hour). 

The IPVs' have a complement of 24 naval personnel and four Government agency officers. They also have the capacity to host 10 additional personnel onboard for general naval training or other duties.

The four ships regularly work with government agencies such as Primary Industries (fisheries), Customs, Police and the Department of Conservation and are frequent visitors to ports throughout the country. The ships regularly undertake patrols around New Zealand’s major fishing grounds, including the West Coast of the South Island, Marlborough Sounds, Cook Strait, Northland and the North Island East Coast.

The IPVs' regularly support the operations of other government agencies.
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  • Surveillance and reconnaissance around NZ coastline
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Search and Rescue
  • Interception and boarding
  • Apprehension and escort of vessels
  • Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief
  • Support for other government agencies, including Police, Primary Industries, Customs and Department of Conservation
  • Vertical replenishment by helicopter
  • Pollution patrol
  • Sea training for the Navy


  • Displacement: 340 tonnes
  • Beam: 9 metres
  • Draught: 2.9 metres
  • Length: 55 metres
  • Speed: 25 knots
  • Range: 3,000 nautical miles
  • Complement: 24 (core crew), 4 (Govt. agencies), 10 (additional personnel) Total 38


  • Main Gun: Nil
  • Helicopter: Vertical replenishment (no flight deck)
  • Small Arms: Numerous small arms ranging from 50 calibre machine guns to 9 mm pistols


  • 2 x MAN B&W 12VP185 Diesel Engines

Badge - Ships Crest

The ship's badge features the double-hulled ocean-going canoe Te Arawa which brought the Arawa people to New Zealand, eventually to settle in the area including Lake Taupo.  The ship's motto is Kia U (standfast).

The first HMNZS TAUPO was a WWII Loch-class frigate (the class were all named for Scottish lochs) built in 1944 as HMS LOCH SHIN. The British frigate escorted a number of Russian Convoys and was involved with sinking two U-boats. Of note she was assigned the pennant number K421. In 1947 ships' pennant numbers were revised under a common NATO system and LOCH SHIN became P3570. In 1948 the frigate (along with 5 sister ships) was transferred to the RNZN and given a New Zealand lake name, TAUPO, while retaining her pennant number P3570.

TAUPO was named by Launch Lady, Her Excellency Lady Satyanand and is affiliated to the Whangarei / Northland region.

Recent Activities - 2019

Ships and aircrafts are complex pieces of kit, packed with hard-working sailors - all of whom need some time alongside once in a while.

TAUPO was one of the vessels that responded to the Mayday call from the MV RENA after it grounded on Astrolabe Reef in October 2011.  The evacuation of RENA’s crew was co-ordinated by HMNZS ROTOITI using helicopters and Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats. The Defence Force had four Navy vessels supporting the operation; the diving support vessel, MANAWANUI, the inshore patrol vessels TAUPO and ROTOITI as well as the tanker ENDEAVOUR.

January: Alongside
February: Alongside
March: Alongside

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