A navy ship is not due to arrive at the location where a fishing boat sank off the Canterbury coast until Saturday.
The seven-year-old FV Jubilee went down early last Sunday morning, with no sign so far of its three crew members.
The navy's diving support vessel, Manawanui, is currently sailing down the east coast of the North Island from its Devonport base.
On arrival, it will serve as a platform for police divers who have not been able to reach the wreck because of rough seas.
On Sunday a private search by the company that operated the boat found evidence it was sitting on the seabed, 40 metres below the surface.
The three missing men have been named as 47-year-old Jared Reese Husband, 35-year-old Paul Russell Bennett and 55-year-old Terry Donald Booth.