Our Name

The name Takapu was given to the ship we now call 'Takapu Two' when it was launched by the Royal New Zealand Navy

— as HMNZS Takapu — in 1980.

Takapu — pronounced 'tah-kah-pooh' — is the New Zealand Maori name for the gannet (Sula serrator), a seabird which nests in a number of colonies around New Zealand. Gannets are large birds whose powerful wings enable them to soar and glide effortlessly around their colonies and over the coastal waters that provide their food, and also to take flight again quickly after a dive for fish. Gannets are notable for their spectacular fishing style, spotting their prey and diving with wings folded, into the ocean from high in the air.

The birds lay just one egg, in October or November, in a ground nest. Four months after hatching, at the end of the southern summer, the young birds are mature enough to leave for their westward migration to eastern Australia. They return to New Zealand to breed after their fourth year.