24 Feb 2013

NZ navy prepares for potential pirate attacks

6:12 pm on 24 February 2013

The navy is making its presence felt in one of the world's busiest sea lanes as part of a major international exercise called the 'Bersama Shield'.

Warships, submarines and aircraft from several countries, including Australia and Malaysia, will practise intensive manoeuvres in south-east Asia and the South China Sea to ensure any threat from pirates or terrorists can be met.

Commander Shane Arndell, of the frigate HMS Te Mana, says their presence is a deterrent for those considering illegal activities as well as preparing the navy to help ships that may be attacked in the future.

He says it's vital for New Zealand that shipping lanes are kept safe for the transportation of imports and exports.