The keel is being laid for a $50 million purpose-built Greenpeace ship, 25 years after the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland.
The first Greenpeace flagship was sabotaged at Marsden Wharf on 10 July 1985 by French secret service personnel. On board was photographer Fernando Pereira, who was killed in the blast.
Greenpeace New Zealand director Bunny McDiarmid says the anniversary is a sad one but has been brightened by the prospect of a new ship.
The keel for the Rainbow Warrior III is being laid in a Polish shipyard and the vessel will be launched in October next year, she says.
"The new ship is a really exciting venture for Greenpeace because its the first time that we've built our own ship from the ground up."
Ms McDiarmid says the ship operating at present, the Rainbow Warrior II is 52 years old and getting near the end of its life.