HMNZS Aotearoa is the largest ever ship in the Royal New Zealand Navy fleet. Her arrival follows a nine year capability development project which required expansion of the Devonport Naval Base wharf where she is berthed. Beca was involved throughout.

It was evident the Navy’s main wharf at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland would require significant expansion to accommodate a 26,000 tonne, 173 metre ship. This is where Beca entered the picture. Following a robust tender process, the NZDF awarded us the contract and then engaged with us in the early stages of their “Maritime Sustainment Capability” (MSC) project, to lead the naval base expansion in direct partnership with the ship’s designer and builder.

Our engagement began by reviewing the safety and technical specifications of the wharf in the pre-procurement phase of the ship’s build, to identify the scope of infrastructure expansion required.

In particular, we recommended a 20 metre westward expansion of the Calliope South Wharf and construction of a new dolphin structure to the east. Existing wharf structures also needed to provide safe berthing of the vessel without overloading the structure.

Throughout this process, we worked with the contractor to modify our designs to suit the construction methodology, which resulted in the original concrete deck design being revised to a composite deck with precast planks and an in-situ concrete topping slab.

Now, some nine years later in 2020, HMNZS Aotearoa has finally been commissioned and the berthing capacity of Devonport Naval Base has been considerably enhanced to support a more active Navy fleet in years to come!


Year project timeframe

26,000 tonnes

Ship displacement


Increase in shore power supply

Our Team Says

Beca were involved every step of the way to ensure that the Navy’s newest (and largest) ship, HMNZS Aotearoa, has a berth befitting its status. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved.

Andrew Ford

Defence and National Security Segment Manager

Our People

Bruce Neville

Senior Technical Director - Digital Consulting

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John Youdale

Beca Technical Fellow - Transport & Infrastructure

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Will Ingle

Senior Associate - Marine Engineer

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