As patron of Navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana, on 12 March Kiingi Tuheitia was recently accorded the privilege of joining the ship at the entrance to the Waitemata harbour before the ship made its way up the channel to Devonport Naval Base. The ship was returning to Aotearoa after a seven month deployment in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin.The crew of 182 conducted counter-piracy operations for the Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) and NATO Operation Shield. During their two month operational deployment in the area TE MANA completed sixty-two maritime situational awareness visits, while patrolling and conducting maritime engagement with merchant traders and fisherman at sea.
TE MANA’s Commanding Officer, Commander Shane Arndell, is proud of the work his crew have done on the world stage. “Sending HMNZS TE MANA half way around the world is part of a global effort and shows New Zealand as an international citizen, playing our part. Through the presence of warships in the area the ats of piracy have dropped over the last few years and we are proud to be part of that.”
Kiingi Tuheitia thoroughly enjoyed the occasion and praised the captain and crew of HMNZS Te Mana for their contribution to the security effort in a volatile part of the world. Kiingi Tuheitia’s mother, Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu was present at the launching of Te Mana and became the ship’s inaugural patron.