A senior navy officer has been suspended from duties as a frigate captain over his "inappropriate behaviour" overseas last week, the Defence Force says.
They would not name the officer or give the location of the incident, but military sources say it was Commander John William Butcher, captain of HMNZS Te Mana, based in Devonport.
Defence sources say the incident, which involved alcohol, occurred last week ashore at Port Vila in Vanuatu.
The chance to command an Anzac frigate - Te Mana or Te Kaha - is regarded as a plum job in the navy.
In a brief statement the Navy said it had "relieved one of its ships' captains of his duties while an investigation is conducted following allegations made against him during a recent port visit".
"The allegations involve inappropriate behaviour while ashore at an official function," it said.
"The allegations are not of a criminal nature and at no time was the ship or its company put in any danger."
The statement said they would not name the captain until a decision is made whether or not a charge or charges under the Armed Forces Discipline Act will be laid.
Te Mana arrived back at its home base at Devonport earlier this week.
The Navy website says Butcher took command of Te Mana in August last year after joining the Navy in 1989.
He was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2006 New Year Honours List for services to the New Zealand Defence Force and in recognition for his work as the Navigation Training Officer.
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