Technician keen ‘to travel as far south as possible’

Royal New Zealand Navy Leading Marine Technician Oliver Redshaw is part of the inaugural crew of...
Royal New Zealand Navy Leading Marine Technician Oliver Redshaw is part of the inaugural crew of Aotearoa. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Dunedin man Oliver Redshaw is set to serve on the Royal New Zealand Navy’s biggest ship.

The leading marine technician was part of the inaugural crew of Aotearoa — a 173m-long sustainment vessel.

Aotearoa completed its sea trials off South Korea and arrived in New Zealand late last month, after a 16-day journey.

The ship was set to be formally commissioned at the Devonport Naval Base later this month, Leading Marine Technician Redshaw said.

"It has been a goal since before I joined the navy to travel as far south as possible and hopefully at some stage on Aotearoa I can get to Antarctica.

"It will be so special to sail to a place not many people have been to.”

Lmt Redshaw, a former Bayfield High School pupil, joined the navy in 2014 because he wanted to travel, do a job that was different from "9 to 5” and make a difference.

He trained as an electrical engineer, where a typical day involved working on electrical systems on ships, conducting servicing or maintenance on anything from electric motors to lighting circuits, and working on ships’ generators and main engines.

"Each day is different.”

Career highlights included deploying to Fiji on HMNZS Canterbury in 2016 to help after Cyclone Winston caused widespread damage, helping after the Kaikoura earthquake later in the same year, travelling to Raoul Island on a resupply mission in 2017, and travelling to Norway in 2019 to learn about the new Rolls-Royce and Kongsberg equipment he would be working with on Aotearoa.

Aotearoa commanding officer Captain Simon Rooke said he was delighted with the calibre of officers and sailors posted to Aotearoa.

"There’s something very special about being a crew member of not only a brand new navy ship but the biggest one we’ve ever had in our fleet.”

The ship would assist the New Zealand Defence Force’s Southern Ocean monitoring. Its enhanced "winterisation” capabilities, such as ice-strengthening, would allow it to undertake operations in the Antarctic, including resupplying McMurdo Station and Scott Base.

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