Three Chinese Navy ships are docked in Auckland as part of a goodwill visit.

The ships have caught the attention of locals, one of whom sent photos to the Herald of the heavily armed personnel on board.

Members of the Chinese Navy guard the ships. Photo / Supplied
Members of the Chinese Navy guard the ships. Photo / Supplied

The New Zealand Navy welcomed the ships last week, with Commodore David Gibbs, Deputy Chief of Navy, meeting Rear Admiral Zhao Jicheng of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

The ships are completing a goodwill tour of the Asia Pacific after a counter-piracy deployment in the Gulf of Aden, and include two frigates, Hengyang and Yulin, and the replenishment ship Hongh, according to Naval Today.

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A spokesman for Defence Minister Mark Mitchell referred queries to the Chinese Embassy.