New maritime patrol vessel for Customs

Monday, September 19, 2016

Customs is investing in a world-class patrol vessel to reinforce and enhance the protection of New Zealand’s maritime border, says Customs Minister Nicky Wagner.

“Customs has always had a strong maritime role that spans across its 176-year history. While the early days of chasing tobacco smugglers are long gone, maintaining its capabilities to respond to threats is as crucial as ever.

“I’m delighted to announce this new vessel, which will be locally-designed, purpose-built, and equipped with state-of-the-art electronics. It will boost Customs’ capabilities to identify risk and carry out enforcement work beyond our territorial waters.”

“The decision comes after 15 months of consultation and contribution by partner agencies and maritime experts to confirm the best vessel to safeguard the future.

“The new vessel will be based in Auckland, and operate with a crew of four Customs officers with specialist maritime expertise. Delivery is expected in 2017-2018,” Ms Wagner says.

Customs’ new Hawk V will replace Hawk IV, which has been in service for 18 years. It will be similar in size and shape to New Zealand Police’s vessel Deodar III, and similar in design to vessels operated by New Zealand Coast Guard and Royal Victorian Police, which have proved extremely successful.

Hawk V will be designed, built and accessorised to world-class standards.

Its current vessel Hawk IV has been used for patrols since 1998.

 Customs’ first custom-built vessel Hawk was commissioned in 1881.