The Government is to buy a $493 million naval tanker.
The ship will be custom-made for use in the Antarctic and will replace the 30-year-old HMNZS Endeavour.
The new ship will be used to refuel naval vessels and helicopters at sea and to supply fuel and fresh water.
The new vessel will be built by South Korean company Hyundai Heavy Industries and was expected for delivery in 2020.
It will be ice-strengthened and adapted to cope with extreme winter conditions so it could deliver fuel and supplies to Scott Base and McMurdo Station during the summer months – something HMNZS Endeavour could not do.
The replacement tanker will be much larger than HMNZS Endeavour, which is due to retire in 2018. It will be able to refuel two ships at once, carry and refuel helicopters, produce and store fresh water and transport bulk goods.