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New Zealand Ships Conduct Survey, Bomb Disposal in South Pacific

Royal New Zealand Navy dive and hydrographic ship HMNZS Manawanui has arrived in the island nation of Niue as part of Operation Calypso, a maritime patrol initiative in the South Pacific.

Around 70 New Zealand navy crew will carry out maritime security patrols, hydrographic surveys, and community engagement activities in Niue, Fiji, and Vanuatu.

Data from the activities will be processed by maritime offices in Fiji before being sent to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office for inclusion on updated sea charts.

Niuean authorities will also collaborate with the New Zealand force to conduct inspections at Beveridge Reef.

Operation Calypso is scheduled to run until December.

Bomb Disposal and Survey Updates

HMNZS Manawanui will also set sail to Vanuatu, where it will facilitate bomb disposal operations with Littoral Support Unit HMNZS Matataua.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal divers will remove four 500-pound bombs discovered by the Australian Defence Force, submerged in Port Vila Harbor and left after World War II.

HMNZS Manawanui Commanding Officer Commander Yvonne Gray expressed the importance of multinational collaborations in promoting regional peace.

“For all of us, the Pacific is our neighbourhood and it’s always special to get out here and work with our friends on these tasks,” she said.

“Some of our crew hail from Pacific nations and so for them our deployments to the Pacific are a way for them to give something back to their communities.”

Additionally, the two ships will also provide updates on the Koro Sea area east of Viti Levu island, last surveyed in 1895.

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