Sunny conditions welcomed the Royal New Zealand Navy's newest ship as it arrived in the City of Sails this morning.

Dubbed Aotearoa, the new fleet tanker sailed smoothly into Auckland; much to the excitement and thrill of those waiting to try to get a glimpse of her for the first time.

The $500 million ship could be seen coming into the Waitematā Harbour about 10am and was welcomed by a flotilla.

At Bastion Point, members of the public gathered to see the ship berth at the Devonport Naval Base.


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Hamilton RSA president Jan Luttrell used to serve in the Navy and told Newstalk ZB she drove up from Hamilton to see the ship arrive this morning.

"I have seen a ship come in before but this one's kind of special, and not only that she's brand new."

Luttrell says coming from Hamilton was worth it.

"It's a good opportunity ... [this is] something I'll never see again.

Aotearoa's journey started just over two weeks ago, on June 10, when it set sail from the Republic of Korea and on way to the place bearing its name.

Aotearoa was built to replace the decommissioned fleet tanker the Endeavour.

The new ship can carry up to 22 containers of supplies and produce 100 tonnes of fresh water each day.


It can also carry up to 9500 tonnes of fuel and can refuel multiple vessels.

Minister of Defence Ron Mark said yesterday that the new fleet tanker would extend the existing fleet's range and endurance during operations that span from Antarctica to the Equator and beyond that.

"Aotearoa has been designed to support both combat and civilian operations and to deliver humanitarian relief and support for disaster recovery," he said.

"This vessel enhances our national resilience as well as our ability to support our friends and neighbours throughout the Pacific and beyond."