The Royal New Zealand Navy's diving and mine counter-measures support ship HMNZS Manawanui will visit Whangarei from today, possibly for the last time.

The Manawanui is due at Port Nikau today and will stay until Monday and, with the ship to be de-commissioned in 2018, this will probably be its last visit to the district.

While the ship will not be open for public visits during its stay, there will be some school groups and Sea Scouts taken on board for tours, and there will be an exercise with the Fire Service this afternoon.

Manawanui is fitted with a triple-lock compression chamber, a wet diving bell, a 15-tonne crane and workshop facilities including electric and gas welding equipment and a lathe.

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With a range of 5000 nautical miles, it can also undertake peacekeeping and maritime security missions around the New Zealand coast and in the South Pacific or across to Southeast Asia, to protect the security and prosperity of New Zealanders, the NZ Navy said.

It is used frequently to work with government agencies such as the Ministry for Primary Industries (fisheries), Customs, Police and the Department of Conservation and has been a frequent visitor to ports throughout the country.

The ship's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Muzz Kennett, is from Whangarei and attended Whangarei Boys' High School.