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Wellington crrest


Patrol Force: HMNZS WELLINGTON is a Protector-class offshore patrol vessel of the Royal New Zealand Navy. It is one of the Navy's two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).  The ships are designed for maritime surveillance, supply and support and patrol missions around New Zealand’s 15,000-kilometre coast, the southern ocean and into the Pacific.

WELLINGTON operates throughout New Zealand’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the southern ocean and the Pacific.  She undertakes a range of roles including patrolling, surveillance, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, support to peacekeeping operations and sea training for the Navy. 

Conceived as part of Project Protector, the ships were built in Williamstown, Australia by Tenix Shipbuilding (now BAE Systems Australia). WELLINGTON was the second Offshore Patrol Vessel to be built for New Zealand.  Modules of the ship were built separately, including some in Whangarei, to be assembled at the Tenix shipyard. 

The ship is based on a design already in service with the Irish Navy and Maritius Coastguard.

WELLINGTON was delivered to the Ministry of Defence and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy on 6 May 2010. WELLINGTON is the second ship of this name to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Commander Tim Hall, RNZN
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The OPVs' are designed to undertake patrols in the southern ocean.  The ship is not designed as an icebreaker or to enter Antarctic ice packs but has a strengthened hull that enables her to enter southern waters.  The ship also has the range and other cold-climate capability to undertake operations in the freezing conditions of the southern ocean.

The OPVs' conducts maritime patrols in conjunction with the RNZAF P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft in the New Zealand EEZ, southern ocean and South Pacific.  The surveillance tasks are primarily non-military in support of civilian agencies and involve specialist staff from government agencies such as Foreign Affairs, Customs and Fisheries.

The OPVs' have a complement of 35 naval personnel and four Government agency officers. They also have the capacity to host 30 additional personnel onboard for general naval training or other duties.

The OPVs' are capable of many roles including maritime patrol, surveillance and response.  They have the ability to conduct helicopter operations using a Super Seasprite SH-2G(I) helicopter, boarding operations using the ships Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats, or Military Support Operations with embarked forces.

The two 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 and the Pacific. 

The OPVs' regularly support the operations of other government agencies.
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  • Long range patrols
  • Surveillance and reconnaissance
  • 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
  • Helicopter operations
  • Pollution patrol
  • Sea training for the Navy
  • VIP Transport
  • Defence Diplomacy and Representational activities in NZ and foreign ports


  • Displacement: 1,900 tonnes
  • Beam: 14 metres
  • Draught: 3.6 metres
  • Length: 85 metres
  • Speed: 22 knots
  • Range: 6,000 nautical miles
  • Complement: 42 (core crew), 12 (flight personnel), plus (additional personnel, including government agencies) Total 80


  • Main Gun: 25mm Rafael Typhoon stabilised Naval Gun
  • Helicopter: one Kaman Super Seasprite SH-2G(I)
  • Small Arms: Numerous small arms ranging from 50 calibre machine guns to 9mm pistols


  • 2 x MAN B&W 12RK280 Diesel Engines

Badge - Ships Crest

The ship's badge is based on the city's coat of arms and features a dolphin over a mural crown. 

The ship's motto is Suprema ut olim (supreme as ever). 

Wellington's badge is the same as the decommissioned Leander class frigate HMNZS WELLINGTON and was originally designed for HMS WELLINGTON, a Grimsby Class sloop, which was named after the capital city and was based in New Zealand during the 1930's.

The original WELLINGTON earned battle honours for the Battle of the Atlantic 1939 - 1945.

The RNZN and the Wellington region share a bond, with many people from the region serving our Navy in times of peace and in times of conflict. WELLINGTON is named to honour our connection to the Wellington region and her homeport Wellington.

WELLINGTON was named by the Ship Sponsor, The Right Honourable Dame Sian Elias, GNZM, PC, and is affiliated to the Wellington 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.

In recent years WELLINGTON has undertaken several patrols to the Southern Ocean where she has undertaken surveillance and boarding of fishing vessels, supported Department of Conservation bases in the Sub-Antarctic Islands and visited McMurdo Sound in the Antarctic.   In 2016 WELLINGTON deployed to Fiji as part of Operation PACIFIC RELIEF, a joint operation of the defence forces of New Zealand and Australia to support relief efforts in Fiji as it recovers from Tropical Cyclone Winston.

In November 2016, TE KAHA, CANTERBURY, ENDEAVOUR and WELLINGTON along with ships from Australia, Canada, and the United States deployed to Kaikoura following the massive 7.5 earthquake that jolted North Canterbury on 14 November - Operation AWHINA.

Historical data:

  • Distance steamed during January 2019 - 9.9 nautical miles
  • Total distance steamed since commissioning - 215,045.4 nautical miles

January: Fisheries; Duty ship for Southern Ocean; Change of Command ceremony
February: Family Day; Ahoy Waitangi; Waitangi Day
March: Harbour training; Preps for deployment; Resupply mission to Raoul Island; Sisters serve at sea together; EEZ patrol; Port visit to Wellington; Public open day.
April: EEZ patrol;
May: Sea training - HIKI ANO

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