Science and research in action
Last Tuesday I joined Hon Steven Joyce on a tour of the research vessel RV Sonne berthed at Wellington harbour.
The Sonne is a German research vessel which has been undertaking geophysical research on the Chatham Rise to the East of the South Island.
The ship was in Wellington to exchange crews for their next cruise - a 5 week expedition off the East coast of the North Island investigating gas hydrate deposits and submarine landslides.
The scientists aboard include both German and New Zealand scientists. We had the opportunity to talk to them about the research work off our coast. Their work is helping to better understand our geological past and offering potential insights into our future.
It was a fascinating tour and discussion. We are fortunate to have technology and scientists of this calibre undertaking research in New Zealand.
And if you are wondering what such a vessel might cost... €240m apparently.