The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) diving support vessel, HMNZS Manawanui (A09) has arrived at the Devonport Naval Base for the final time before decommissioning.
The ship entered the Waitemata Harbour, proudly flying her 12-metre decommissioning pennant, for the final time under the White Ensign. The ship’s company performed a haka to former colleagues, friends and families who greeted her at the Devonport Naval Base.
The vessel is scheduled to be decommissioned on 23rd February.
HMNZS Manawanui (A09)
HMNZS Manawanui (A09) is a diving and mine counter-measures support ship the Royal New Zealand Navy.
She was delivered to the Ministry of Defence and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1988. Originally she was built in 1979 as a diving support vessel, the Star Perseus, for the North Sea oil rig operations.
Manawanui is the third ship with this name to serve in the New Zealand Navy. Manawanui is a Māori word meaning “to be brave or steadfast” or ‘Big Heart’.
Designed for operations in the North Sea, she has a long low working deck aft with her superstructure forward and bluff bows for good sea keeping.
HMNZS Manawanui is fitted with modern systems including a triple lock compression chamber (to 250ft), a wet diving bell, a 15 ton crane and workshop facilities including electric and gas welding equipment and a lathe. She has a four-point anchoring system to keep the ship in position when undertaking diving operation. She also has limited deck cargo carrying capacity.
The ship is designed for diving and support operations and the Littoral Warfare Unit (LWU) frequently work on board HMNZS Manawanui. The LWU is a collective name for a group of units that operates primarily within the littoral or coastal waters comprising of divers, hydrographers and a mine counter-measures unit.
The divers of the New Zealand Navy who work onboard Manawanui are trained for deep diving with mixed gases, underwater demolition and unexploded ordnance disposal.
An ROV operated from the Manawanui returned photos of the wreck of the MV Princess Ashika, which sank near Ha’apai, Tonga on 5 August 2009.