Australia

Speeding Australian warships upset New Zealand community

HMAS Warramunga Image copyright ABPH Nadia Monteith / Commonwealth of Australia
Image caption HMAS Warramunga upset locals by speeding around bays in New Zealand's Malborough Sounds

Conduct described as "maritime hoonery" has left a New Zealand community unhappy with the Royal Australian Navy.

The warship HMAS Warramunga made sharp turns at speed during training exercises in Malborough Sounds harbour off New Zealand's South Island last week.

The turns generated waves that damaged boats and a fish farm.

Twelve complaints were lodged with the Malborough Sounds harbourmaster.

Paul Keating, a member of local advocacy group Guardian of the Sounds, said no reason had been given for the decision to do sharp turns in the bay.

"Maritime hoonery would be a good way to describe [it]," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC).

Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne told the ABC that the Navy adjusted its training approach after being made aware of community concerns.

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