A haka and traditional bottle smash welcomed a new navy ship - Manawanui - at a ceremony in Auckland today.
Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship Manawanui was commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the ship’s sponsor, in an event at Devonport Naval Base.
The ceremony included the traditional breaking of a bottle of wine on the ship as Ms Ardern announced: "I name this ship Manawanui".
HMNZS Manawanui is the fourth ship of the Royal New Zealand Navy to hold the name. Manawanui in English means "steadfast" or "big heart". The new modern design means it will be a more advanced ship.
"When I think of our values it seems to me to be very fitting that Her Majesty's New Zealand ship to be steadfast, to stand strong, to be resolute and unwavering from our beliefs in the face of challenges; and to be big-hearted speaks to those values - care and compassion and selflessness," Ms Ardern said.
"The commissioning of a ship is a significant moment; from this moment Manawanui will come to represent our country, and through the actions of the ship’s company, will represent our values as a nation. For these reasons it is an honour to have been chosen to act as the ship’s sponsor."
Manawanui will serve as a dive and hydrographic vessel for the Royal New Zealand Navy, replacing HMNZS Resolution and the previous HMNZS Manawanui.
Defence Minister Ron Mark was also on hand today to tout the new ship's virtues.
"Manawanui is a highly capable ship, and will be a game changer domestically and for our South Pacific region, where it will operate frequently," he said.
Ms Ardern concluded the ceremony with the words to Manawanui’s crew, "kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui; be strong, be brave, be steadfast".
The ship will now undergo a second stage of modifications to install defence specific equipment. This is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.