The New Zealand Defence Force’s decommissioning of replenishment tanker vessel HMNZS Endeavour on Friday has left the country relying on Australia for refuelling services until 2020.
The tanker ship had been in service for 30 years, returning from its last deployment in June. Its replacement, HMNZS Aotearoa, will not be in service until January 2020.
A Defence Force spokesperson told Radio New Zealand the Australian Navy would assist with refueling until HMNZS Aotearoa is in service.
"The Royal New Zealand Navy works on a reciprocal basis with the Royal Australian Navy and other allied navies when it comes to providing fleet fuelling services and other operational requirements in circumstances such as this," the spokesperson said.
"This shared resourcing is very common amongst partner navies."
The co-operation between both nation's navies is not unusual, with Australia and New Zealand previously forming a joint task force for disaster relief operations, headed up by HMNZS Canterbury, which was, at the time, the only suitable vessel available to both navies.
HMNZS Aotearoa, a 24,000-tonne vessel, will accommodate 64 crew and will be the largest ship ever operated by the New Zealand Navy. The vessel will have twice the displacement of HMNZS Endeavour and will carry 30 per cent more fuel.
South Korean firm Hyundai Heavy Industries is building Aotearoa.