29 Oct 2010

Navy's Otago on first deployment in Pacific

10:33 pm on 29 October 2010

One of New Zealand's newest navy ships has left for its first international deployment.

HMNZS Otago is going to Samoa, Nuku'alofa, Tokelau, Rarotonga and Niue over three weeks.

The ship, which has 79 people on board, will carry out diplomacy tasks, surveillance and continue its sea trials.

The delivery of the $110 million offshore patrol vessel was delayed in March this year due to engine problems and developed another fault sailing from Auckland to Dunedin in July.

The ship's commander, Lieutenant Commander Simon Rooke, says the deployment will offer new challenges for crew.

The Otago will also be tested for how it operates in tropical heat.