The Navy's newest ship, the fault-prone HMNZS Otago, is once again being forced to return to port.

The offshore patrol vessel suffered an electrical fault in one of its engines while on a visit to the subantarctic Campbell Island.

A New Zealand Defence spokesman said engineers had carried out temporary repairs and both engines were now working, but the ship would have to return to Auckland's Devonport Naval Base for permanent repairs.

Govenor General Anand Satynand and cabinet minister Kate Wilkinson were on board at the time, and have been transferred to the HMNZS Wellington which will continue the journey before returning to Dunedin later this week.

The ship has had previous engine and gearbox problems.

On the vessel's maiden deployment it had to return to base after sea water contaminated the fuel supply.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp told Radio New Zealand there would be a full review of the problems suffered by the vessel and its sister ship HMNZS Wellington.

"We do want to get the bottom of all these issues, make sure they are all resolved and they don't happen again."