Family affair for Aotearoa's second-in-command at navy ship's commissioning

New Zealand’s navy today commissioned its largest ever vessel - Aotearoa, and it was a family affair onboard for one crewmember.

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Lieutenant Commander Nikki Fox and her family were on hand as the Aotearoa was commissioned. Source: Seven Sharp

The South Korean-built ship was commissioned at the Devonport Naval Base with Lieutenant Commander Nikki Fox, the second in command on the vessel, and her three daughters soaking in all the ceremonial pomp.

But that was not before the three girls, one seven-year-old and six-year-old twins, went missing.

Predictably, the three of them, two in sailor dresses and one in a poppy dress, were where the cake was.

The 173-metre tanker’s primary role is refuelling other vessels at sea and also making fuel supply runs to McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

She'll also play a pivotal role in cyclone relief missions in the Pacific with the ability to carry more than 20 containers 

"Having a crane on board that can lift 25 tonne, that’s pretty special as well,” Lieutanant Commander Fox said.

"I've been in the navy for 25 years and this is probably my proudest moment and I have never been on a ship where morale is so high, everyone wants to be here."