11 Jul 2019

Defence force: $2.1b to be spent on land, buildings to help keep staff

3:00 pm on 11 July 2019
Defence Minister Ron Mark at the service for Lieutenant Alfred Preece.

Minister of Defence Ron Mark says the Defence Force needs modern facilities so that it can support and retain personnel. Photo: RNZ / Te Aniwa Hurihanganui

The government has announced a major investment in the Defence Force's old land, buildings and infrastructure.

In February, RNZ reported that much of its estate - camps, buildings, roads and water infrastructure - was outdated and 41 percent was barely meeting or failing to meet functional requirements.

Today, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced the terms of reference for the estate review.

He said the government had approved an increase from $1.7 billion to $2.1b required to fund the infrastructure upgrade out to 2030.

Mr Mark said the money would be part of the overall $20b investment in the Defence Force which was announced as part of the Defence Capability Plan last month.

"The 81,000-hectare Defence estate is at a crossroads; much of it is rundown and outdated... it needs to be improved in order to gain, train and retain our service people, now and into the future," Mr Mark said.

Waiouru military training camp

Waiouru military training camp. Photo: Google Maps

He said acceptable modern facilities were needed in order to support and retain personnel.

"The review, plan and continued investment in the Defence estate will result in better working, training and living conditions for all personnel," he said.

Mr Mark said a first report on the estate review was due to be completed by the end of September next year.

He said a joint ministerial group would oversee the review, led by him.

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