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HMNZS Aotearoa Navy Ship Finally Arrives in NZ

The largest ship ever to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy has made a triumphant arrival in Auckland.

The Aotearoa arrived in Waitematā Harbour amid much fanfare on Friday morning, including a flotilla of yachts and powerboats, and Air Force flybys from two C-130 Hercules and a P-3 Orion aircraft.Military brass, diplomats and media watched her arrive from the diving and support vessel HMNZS Manawanui, following Aotearoa's 16-day voyage from South Korea where she was built in the shipyards of Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan.

The purpose-built, $500 million support vessel is designed to carry fuel, cargo, water and other supplies in support of operations, particularly humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

At 173m, the ship is longer than the 169m HMNZS Achilles light cruiser which served with the Royal New Zealand Navy during World War 2, or the 118m HMNZS Te Kaha frigate currently in service.

Shortly after the ship docked at a specially-extended wharf at Devonport Naval Base, Aotearoa’s commanding officer Captain Simon Rooke said he and his crew were “incredibly happy”.

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