LOCH Class Characteristics: 

Displacement: 2,260 tons full load

Dimensions: 93.6 x 11.9 x 2.7 meters (307 x 39 x 9 feet)

Propulsion: 2 shafts, VTE, 2 boilers, 5,500 ihp, 19 knots

Crew: 141

Radar: Type 277

EW: HF/DF (High Frequency Direction Finder)

Armament: 1 4" Mk.VIC single, 1 quad 2 Pdr., 2 20mm twin guns, 2 20mm single guns, 2 Squid ASW mortar, 2 depth charge throwers.

HMNZS ROTOITI, one of six ex-Royal Navy Loch class anti submarine frigates to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy, was built as HMS LOCH KATRINE, by Henry Robb Ltd., Leith, Scotland, between 1943 and 1944.  After serving in the Second World War, principally as a convoy escort in the Atlantic, she paid off into reserve, and was one of six frigates purchased from the Royal Navy in 1947 by the Royal New Zealand Navy.  Designated the 11th Flotilla, the six ships were modernised in the United Kingdom, before sailing to New Zealand in groups between 1948 and 1949.  Most of the ship's time in the Royal New Zealand Navy was spent in various combinations of training and exercise duties, and as part of the New Zealand commitment to support British interests in the Far East, as well as extended periods spent in reserve.  During the Korean War she made two operational deployments to the combat zone between 1950 and 1951, and 1952 and 1953 as part of the United Nations naval commitment to the conflict.  She also deployed to the British nuclear tests at Christmas Island - Operation Grapple - as a weather ship in 1957 to 1958, and later as a combination weather/radar picket/rescue ship during Operation Deep Freeze, operating to the edge of the Antarctic pack ice between 1961 and 1964.  She was sold for scrap in 1966.  In this view HMNZS ROTOITI is approaching HMNZS PHILOMEL, at Devonport to pay-off, and is flying the distinctive paying-off pennant from her mast.  The pennant's length varies depending on the length of the ship's commission, the longer the commission, the longer the pennant. 





Built for the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS LACHLAN was a 'River' class frigate built by Mort's Dock & Engineering Co., in Sydney between 1943 to 1945.  During her construction she was altered, emerging as a specialist hydrographical survey vessel.  LACHLAN served in this role until 1948 when she paid-off into reserve.  The Royal New Zealand Navy at this time were attempting to obtain a survey ship from the British Isles, and sought to obtain LACHLAN on loan until the new ship arrived.  LACHLAN arrived in Devonport in November 1949, after commissioning in Australia as HMNZS LACHLAN.  As she was only on loan, the Australian river name was retained.  An extensive conversion work was carried out in Auckland, mainly fitting additional chart-rooms and accommodation, as well as removal of all her armament.  She spent nearly a quarter of a century engaged in survey duties around the New Zealand coast and South Pacific.  In 1963, after 14 years of an initial three-year loan, she was purchased from the Royal Australian Navy.  Another extensive modification was made, receiving a 'frigate' fully enclosed bridge and a helicopter landing deck aft.  LACHLAN carried on in her survey role until decommissioning at Devonport, Auckland in December 1974.  Since that time, she was stripped of equipment and used as an accommodation hulk for over ten years until finally being disposed of. 








HMNZS OTAGO, a Type 12 or Rothesay class anti submarine frigate was built by Samuel White & Co., Cowes, England from 1958 to 1961.  Over the years the ship took part in regular deployments to support British interests in the Far East, as well as exercises in the Pacific with units of the USN, however, a large amount of the ship's time was spent in New Zealand, Australian and South Pacific waters.  In 1972 she took part in a high profile protest over French atmospheric nuclear testing off Mururoa Atoll between June and July of that year.  She decommissioned at Devonport in November 1983, and was sold for scrap in 1987, and towed over to the Viaduct Basin in Auckland and broken up.  This bow view shows the ship early in her career.  


HMNZS Otago was the first new frigate to be built for the Royal New Zealand Navy. Launched by HRH Princess Margaret in 1958.

She departed London on November 17,1960. Arrived in Dunedin January 16,1960, then proceeded to Auckland.

The Otago took part in regular deployments to the Far east, to North America,Hawaii,Australia and the Pacific Islands for exercises with ships of other navies, and 'show the flag' tours.There was also many ceremonial occasions (royal tours, Waitangi celebrations) and some search and rescue work around NZ.

Otago underwent a major refit from November,1966 to November,1967

She suffered damage by Typhoon Rose at Hong Kong on August 17,1971.

She sailed into the French nuclear testing zone at Mururoa July,1973 to protest about continued atmospheric testing. She was stationed for three weeks until she returned to Auckland August 2,1973.

On October 1,1977 the Otago carried out fisheries protection in the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of NZ.

On March,1983 she had to leave exercises near Australia after three generators failed and she returned to Auckland for repairs.

Otago decommissioned at Devonport on November 7,1983 and she was slowly stripped for parts.She was sold July,1987 to Pacific Metal Industries Ltd. and towed across to Western Viaduct August 17,1987 for scrapping, which was completed in 4 months.


Builder - Thornycroft, Woolston

Completed 1958

Length 370ft

Speed 30 knots +

Displacement 2,557 tons





The Last Days of Waikato

As We Remember Her

HMNZS WAIKATO, a Type 12A or Leander class general-purpose frigate was built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, from 1964 to 1966.  Over the years the ship took part in regular deployments to support British interests in the Far East, as well as exercises in the Pacific with units of the USN, however, a large amount of the ship's time was spent in New Zealand, Australian and South Pacific waters.  She spent some time in the Southern Ocean in 1978 and was involved in a number of high profile rescues.  Most noteworthy was the recovery of a USN Sea King helicopter which almost ran out of fuel during exercises with the USN in the Northern Pacific in April 1978.  The WAIKATO was decommissioned in 1998 and scuttled as an artificial reef off Ngunguru Bay, Northland in November 2000.  This bow on view of the ship shows the sleek lines of the Type 12A design, with her hull designed along the 'long and thin' principal. 



HMNZS Waikato was built by Harland & Wolfe Ltd, Belfast, and launched by HRH Princess Alexandra on 18 February 1965. She was the first Leander Class frigate to be built for the Royal New Zealand Navy. The ship took her name from the North Island province of Waikato and was the first New Zealand naval vessel to bear the name. She was adopted by the Waikato city of Hamilton and the ships company participated in a final Charter Parade in the city as part of the decommissioning. Which took place at the Devonport Naval Base.Twelve former Commanding Officers including former Chief of Defence Force Vice Admiral Sir Neil Anderson and current Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Fred Wilson attended the decommissioning ceremony in July 1998.


Displacement 3182 tonnes

Length 113 metres

Beam 12 metres

Draught 5 metres

Machinery Twin steam turbines driving twin shafts developing 30,000 hp

Armament Twin 115mm guns, Wasp helicopter carring homing torpedoes, Two triple barrelled torpedo tubes,one Phalanx Close In Weapons System.

Other Wasp helicopter

Speed 30 knots





This aerial view taken in May 1985 shows a large portion of the home of the Royal New Zealand Navy - HMNZS PHILOMEL.  The main buildings that can be seen, are the naval barracks, chapel and administration buildings in the foreground.  Beyond these buildings, are the industrial ship repair facilities of the base itself, including the Calliope dry or graving dock.  The original Calliope wharf is the central one in the view, with Calliope South wharf under construction.  Moored at the training jetty, below the Calliope wharf complex, is a decommissioned frigate awaiting disposal