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NZ navy vessel arrives in Raro

Saturday September 27, 2014 Written by Published in Local
HMNZS Otago Lieutenant Commander Tim Garvan (left) and Lieutenant Tyson Witana (right) with Ministry of Marine Resources Secretary Ben Ponia, during their visit yesterday. 14092632 HMNZS Otago Lieutenant Commander Tim Garvan (left) and Lieutenant Tyson Witana (right) with Ministry of Marine Resources Secretary Ben Ponia, during their visit yesterday. 14092632

Right on schedule, the HMNZS Otago arrived in Rarotonga on Friday.

The 85-metre long Otago arrived in Avarua Port after visiting Samoa during the United Nations Small Island Developing States conference held earlier this month. 
The vessel - capable of reaching speeds of 22 knots with a range of 6000 nautical miles - had recently been involved in hydrographic survey work and supporting local efforts in fisheries surveillance while in Cook Islands waters.
Crew immediately began land-based duties, including a courtesy call at the Ministry of Marine Resources, where they discussed joint monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) efforts.
"We have just spent the past two weeks working with the Ministry of Marine Resources conducting fishing surveillance and boardings in support of the Ministry, and that has been a successful mission," said Lieutenant Commander Tim Garvan.
Ponia described the partnership with the Royal New Zealand Navy as “very fruitful” for the Ministry, particularly while Cook Islands Police patrol boat Te Kukupa is currently away in Australia undergoing a refit.
 "On behalf of government we extend our gratitude for the efforts of the Otago and her crew," said Ponia.
Yesterday, the Otago hosted a number of guests for a private tour, which was followed by a reception later in the evening.
Today, the ship will be open to the public between 9am and 12pm for those who are interested in guided tours through a number of different areas of the vessel, along with a chance to speak to crew members.
The Otago is scheduled to depart Rarotonga on Monday for further maritime patrols before returning to Rarotonga for a second visit between October 10-15, where she will re-provision prior to returning to New Zealand.  

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