HMNZS Manawanui (A 09) is a multi-role offshore support vessel currently commissioning with the Royal New Zealand Navy on 7 June in a ceremony held at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland, and presided over by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The ship will replace two decommissioned vessels, the hydrographic survey ship HMNZS Resolution and the diving support vessel HMNZS Manawanui. New Zealand Defence officials reviewed 150 vessels before identifying the Norwegian built MV Edda Fonn as suitable for conversion. The ship, which had previously been in service as a commercial offshore support vessel known as Edda Fonn, was procured by New Zealand in August 2018 for NZD103 million (USD67.3 million) to fulfil operational gaps in the RNZN’s diving support and maritime survey capabilities following the retirement of the service᾿s hydrographic ship, HMNZS Resolution, in 2012 and of the dive tender HMNZS Manawanui in 2018.
HMNZS Manawanui (the fourth Navy ship to bear this name) has an overall beam of 18 m, a hull draught of 6.3 m and length of 84.7 m. is equipped with a 100-tonne salvage crane. Some of these new and enhanced capabilities include a 100-tonne salvage crane, a remotely operated vehicle and a contemporary dynamic positioning system, which will allow Navy’s specialist divers to achieve greater levels of effectiveness and safety, in a greater range of conditions. Powered by four diesel-electric engines driving two azimuth propulsion systems, the 5,700-tonne vessel can reach a top speed of 13 kt. The new vessel, which is also fitted with a diving chamber and a helicopter flight deck, can accommodate a core crew of 39, with 27 more bunks for mission-specific personnel. The modern design and systems of the dive and hydrographic vessel will provide improved capacity, speed, safety, and capability over the previous vessels.