Who we are

The mission of YWAM Ships Aotearoa (YSA) is simply to “serve the isolated island communities” throughout the pacific region.


Serving the isolated

All peoples should have access to health care. That means primary health care, life-altering vaccinations, dental care, and eye surgeries. We believe that all peoples should have access to clean water and education. We also believe that--as Kiwis--there are so many ways we can give to our Pacific neighbours. Together we can make a sustainable and measurable difference.

Our vision is to provide these services through the use of uniquely-equipped medical mission ships that can access isolated communities that aeroplanes can not. In partnership with governments, both nationally and regionally, we desire to serve each community to mitigate poverty and disease. In addition, our partnership with the University of the Nations creates the opportunity for university-level education onboard the vessel. 

YWAM Ships Aotearoa (YSA) was established in 2016 to manage a vessel (the m/v YWAM Liberty) that was gifted to YWAM Ships. The vision has now expanded with the gift of the YWAM Koha to us in March of 2019. Now we also own a New Zealand flagged vessel that calls the Tauranga Moana “home.” 

2017 and 2018 have been foundational years for us at YWAM Ships Aotearoa. We opened up our base of operations in New Zealand and began partnering with both YWAM Ships Kona and YWAM Medical Ships Norway in order to start serving Papua New Guinea (PNG) in July 2018.  

YWAM Ships Aotearoa acknowledges the legacy of ships that have played significant roles in our history. Specifically, we acknowledge the work of Mercy Ships and Marine Reach--who have worked from New Zealand into many nations with ships, bringing both hope and health to thousands. YSA hopes to build on this incredible legacy, we are aware that we stand on the shoulders of many incredible men and women of God. 

YWAM Ships Aotearoa’s role is to steward of the gift of the m/v YWAM Koha. However, the vision of the m/v YWAM Koha is so much bigger than just YSA. We believe that the Lord is raising up people from all across our great nation of Aotearoa to use their unique giftings to bless to the isolated peoples of the pacific.