Dive and Hydrographic Vessel

The new dive and hydrographic support vessel for the Royal New Zealand Navy, HMNZS Manawanui, was commissioned in June 2019.

Defence: Approval to Buy a Dive and Hydrographic Vessel - Cabinet Documents
2.4 MB
21 Dec 2018

An 85 metre Norwegian built multi-role offshore support vessel, the MV Edda Fonn arrived in New Zealand on 12 May 2019 as part of a project to deliver a new dive and hydrographic capability to the Royal New Zealand Navy.

The ship was commissioned as HMNZS Manawanui - the fourth RNZN ship to sail under this name - on 7 June 2019 at a ceremony with Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, who is the Ship Sponsor.

The vessel commenced introduction into service early 2020 and is working through Operational Test and Evaluation with operational release planned for late 2021. The project budget for the purchase of the ship, completion of the modifications, and the introduction into service of this dive and hydrographic capability is NZD$103 million. 

Navy's specialist divers and hydrographers provide vital services to New Zealand, the Pacific, and our partners. In recent years this has included undertaking underwater search and rescue with the New Zealand Police, surveying the seabed following major earthquakes, and removing unexploded historical ordnance in the Pacific islands. This vessel will allow the Defence Force to continue to serve the community, nation and the world.

Modifying the ship 

A two-stage process was planned for modifying this former commercial vessel to meet the needs of the RNZN. Stage 1 modifications were completed in early 2019 in Denmark, prior to the vessel making the 12,000 nautical mile voyage to New Zealand. The modifications included installation of dive and hydrographic systems required by the Defence Force. 

Stage 2 modifications

A second phase of modifications is underway in New Zealand and will be completed by the second half of 2021.


Contact: Jon Finderup, Director Maritime Domain

Updated: January 2021