A New Zealand navy frigate is to join international efforts to fight piracy off the Horn of Africa and in the Middle East later this year.
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says Te Mana will join the Combined Maritime Force for three months from November, patrolling shipping routes in the Gulfs of Aden and Oman, and parts of the Indian Ocean.
He says Te Mana will primarily act as a deterrent to piracy, but the crew may need to intercept and arrest pirates and confiscate their boats.
Dr Coleman says New Zealand has a direct interest in supporting the international maritime taskforce, as a large amount of the country's trade is carried by shipping.
He says one of the Defence Force's Orion aircrafts will also join the taskforce in mid-2014.