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HMTSS Te Mataili (801) is a Pacific Forum-class patrol vessel provided by Australia to Tuvalu, and operated by the Tuvalu Police Force.[1] Tuvalu has a 900,000 square kilometres (350,000 sq mi) exclusive economic zone, and Te Mataili is its sole long range patrol vessel.

RFNS Kikau, south of Fiji - 181017-N-VG727-2016.jpg
Sister ship RFNS Kikau
Name: Te Mataili
Launched: 1994
Status: Ship in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Pacific Forum-class patrol boat
Displacement: 162 tons
Length: 103 ft (31 m)



When the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas extended maritime nations exclusive economic zone to 200 kilometres (120 mi), Australia agreed to give small patrol vessels to 12 of the smaller nations of the Pacific Forum.


Australia designed the patrol vessels using commercial off-the-shelf equipment, to make it easier to maintain the vessels in small, remote, shipyards.

Operational historyEdit

The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs an international human rights group, questioned how the government used Te Mataili after it invoked Tuvalu's Public Order Act, suspending public gatherings, for 14 days, in January 2011.[2] She was moored near the official residences of the Governor General and Prime Minister. Some commentators expressed that, if her crew were armed it would have eroded Tuvalu's peaceful traditions.

In October 2011 the government of Tuvalu had to declare a state of emergency when potable water reserves dropped to a dangerous level.[3] Te Mataili carried a Red Cross desalinization unit to Nukulaelae.

On March 3, 2017, Te Mataili rescued two distressed fishers, off Fuafatu.[4]

Te Mataili escorted Nivaga III, carrying Polynesian leaders to Amatuka, on July 5, 2018.[5] On November 22, 2018 Te Mataili carried the body of former Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia from the capital to his home island, Vaitupu.[6]

Her replacement, a Template:Sclas2-, was launched on November 26, 2018, and commissioned on April 5, 2019.[7][8][9] All Pacific Forum vessels are returned to Australia for recycling, when they are replaced.


  1. ^ "HMTSS Te Mataili". Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Archived from the original on 2018-11-30. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  2. ^ "Update 2011 - Tuvalu". IWGIA. 2012. Archived from the original on 2018-10-26. That same day (January 12), the armed Coast Guard vessel Te Mataili was deployed off shore in the Funafuti lagoon close to the residences of the Governor General and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu. It is not known why the vessel was moved in. However, the involvement of this vessel and the fact that some of the personnel may have been armed – an unprecedented event in Tuvalu’s peaceful history - was a source of grave fear and concern for Tuvalu’s population. 2 The government later denied deploying armed personnel when questioned on the matter by the opposition in parliament.
  3. ^ "Australia responds to Tuvalu water crisis". Relief Web. 2011-10-07. Archived from the original on 2018-10-26. The Australian-provided Tuvalu patrol boat, Te Mataili, has also delivered a portable desalination plant, provided by the International Federation of Red Cross, to the island of Nukulaelae.
  4. ^ Matelina Stuart (2017-03-03). "Fishermen Adrift for 15 hours and the Convenience of Grab Bags". Tuvalu fisheries. Archived from the original on 2017-03-03. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  5. ^ Afasene Iosefa (2018-07-05). "PLG LEADERS RETREATING TO AMATUKU". KMT News. Archived from the original on 2018-10-26. There was a very tight security down at the main wharf from the Police Force when the leaders boarded the vessel on their way to Amatuku and even onboard. The patrol boat ‘Te Mataili followed all the way to Amatuku after the Nivaga III.
  6. ^ "Former Tuvalu prime minister laid to rest". Radio New Zealand. 2018-11-22. Archived from the original on 2018-11-22. Retrieved 2019-01-15. His body was transported to Vaitupu by Tuvalu's patrol boat, Te Mataili, on Tuesday night.
  7. ^ "AUSTAL DELIVERS FIRST GUARDIAN CLASS PATROL BOAT". Austal. 2018-11-30. Retrieved 2018-11-29. 'The program is now in a full rate of production, with the second vessel, which is destined for Tuvalu, successfully launched on Monday with an additional three vessels in various stages of construction. Austal are already looking at export opportunities for the GCPB' Mr Singleton said.
  8. ^ Christopher Pyne (2019-04-07). "Guardian Class Patrol Boat gifted to Tuvalu". Australian Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-04-07. Te Mataili II was received by the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, the Right Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga at a handover ceremony attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, the Hon Taukelina Finikaso, the Minister for Natural Resources, the Hon Dr Puakena Boreham, and the Commissioner of the Tuvalu Police Service, Commissioner Luka Falefou.
  9. ^ "Australia hands over Guardian-class patrol boat to Tuvalu". Naval Today. 2019-04-06. Archived from the original on 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-04-07. The 39.5 meter steel hulled patrol boat was built by Australian shipbuilder Austal under an AUD 335 million program that will see 21 boats gifted to 12 Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste.