International Customs Day celebrated with Hawk V patrol vessel launch

Hawk V patrol vessel
Hawk V, New Zealand Customs' new patrol vessel.

New Zealand Customs today celebrated International Customs Day with the official launch of its new patrol vessel, the Hawk V, in Auckland.

Layered defence

Docked at Q Berth at Auckland’s Captain Cook Wharf, and under the shadow of HMNZS Wellington berthed astern, the 18 metre twin-hull aluminium catamaran was commissioned by Minister of Customs Meka Whaitiri.

Hawk V is the fifth patrol vessel in NZ Customs’ history to bear the Hawk name, with the first Hawk entering service in January 1881. Faster and with a longer range than its direct predecessor, the new vessel provides Customs with new maritime capabilities and greater interoperability with partner agencies, such as NZ Police.

Hawk V’s range extends out to the limits of New Zealand’s 24 nautical mile Contiguous Zone.

It is a key part of Custom’s ‘layered defence’ approach to border security, focusing on coastal patrols along the east coast of North Island, and particularly the relatively vulnerable coastlines of Northland and Bay of Plenty.

New Zealand made

Hawk V was locally designed by Teknicraft in Auckland and built by Whanganui-based Q-West. “It’s a matter of pride that this craft is New Zealand built,” said the minister.

“This country is at the top of its function in terms of marine design and build,” she added.

Following its commissioning, VIPs boarded the vessel and were taken on a short cruise from Captain Cook Wharf under the Harbour Bridge to the vicinity of Chelsea Bay and back. The craft handled with extreme smoothness, turning effortlessly at speed, and pulling up alongside its wharf without the hint of a shudder.

According to NZ Customs Group Manager – Intelligence, Investigations & Enforcement, Jamie Bamford, Custom’s relationship with builders Q-West was a partnership. “It’s great to be able to support a genuinely world leading kiwi engineering enterprise,” he told Defsec Media. “It’s a kiwi design built for kiwi waters.”

“There were no problems delivering to specifications and delivering on time.”

The specifications

  • Design: Foil supported catamaran
  • Builders: Q-West
  • Overall length: 18.6 metres
  • Beam: 7.0 metres
  • Draft: 0.75 metres
  • Displacement: 35 tonnes
  • Construction method: Marine grade aluminium
  • Engines: 2 x Scania DI 16 076M / Marine diesel engines
  • Engine output: 809 kilowatts
  • Propulsion: 2 x Hamilton HJ403 waterjets
  • Cruising speed: 30 knots
  • Electronics: Simrad
  • Thermal camera: FLIR M400XR

Each year, the World Customs Organization Secretariat chooses an International Customs Day theme relevant to the international Customs community. The slogan chosen for 2018 is “a secure business environment for economic development.”

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