The mighty five-ship Kiwi battle force
Here we see the full Royal New Zealand Navy Task Group back in the day off Hauraki Gulf, sometime in the early to 1990s, with four aging but well-maintained steam-powered frigates clustered around the fleet’s new oiler. Note the three airborne Wasp helicopters.
The four frigates are Leander-class vessels, which proved the backbone of the RN and Commonwealth fleets in the Cold War. Waikato and Canterbury were purpose-built Batch 3 Leanders to replace WWII-era NZ ships such as the old light cruiser Royalist. Notably, these two Kiwi frigates relieved British ships of the Persian Gulf Armilla Patrol during the 1982 Falklands conflict, freeing British ships for deployment.
This latter fact led to the RN transferring HMS Dido and HMS Bacchante to New Zealand in 1983 as payback.
All four of these frigates were retired post-Cold War, replaced two-for-one by a pair of more modern ANZAC-class ships of a modified German MEKO 200 design (although they had been offered two FFG-7s shorthulls of 15–17 years age for a song.) The two Australian-built frigates arrived between 1997-99 and the New Zealand navy has stuck to a two-frigate force since then.
*HMS Dido/HMNZS Southland was decommissioned 1995 and scrapped at Goa.
*HMNZS Waikato was decommissioned in 1998 and sunk as an artificial reef off the coast of Tutukaka.
*HMS Bacchante/HMNZS Wellington was decommissioned 1999 and sunk in Wellington Harbour as a reef in 2005.
*HMNZS Canterbury decommissioned 2005 and was herself reefed in 2007.
The 12,300-ton Endeavour, a commercial design from South Korea commissioned 8 April 1988, is still active and is a common sight during RIMPAC exercises. She deployed to East Timor as part of the Australian-led INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce twice. She is the last of the vessels in the image above still afloat.