Homecoming for Hawea
The navy ship HMNZS Hawea arrived home to the Auckland Harbour, after 84 days protecting and patrolling Fijian waters. A homecoming party, made up of family and friends, gathered at the Devonport Naval base on November 10.
The New Zealand Defence Force sent the Hawea to Fiji in late April, to help patrol the southwest Pacific territorial water, which encompasses more than 1.1 million square kilometres.
Operation Wasawasa saw the Hawea board 550 vessels and detect 110 alleged infringements, in seven months.
Lieutenant Brock West, the commanding officer of the Hawea, said around 60 per cent of the total alleged infringements detected were considered major breaches.
The infringements were for: no licence, discarding rubbish, safety infringements, illegal fishing practices, and expired immigration visas.
The Hawea’s total time at sea was manned by two crews. In April, the first crew left from New Zealand led by Lieutenant Commander Dave Luhrs. In August, a second crew relieved them, led by West.
To acknowledge the first crew, the HMNZS Taupo followed the Hawea into the harbour on November 10. Hawea’s deployment to Fiji marks the first time the Navy has deployed to the south Pacific, fulfilling their offer to help Fiji in maritime surveillance.
The navy’s Hawea patrolling the waters in the southwest Pacific.