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Defence Force Real Estate Strategy Announced

Defence Force Real Estate Consolidation Strategy Announced

The Navy will stay at Devonport, the Army will continue to use Burnham Camp, and Hobsonville Air Base is to close, the Minister of Defence Mark Burton announced today.

"These are three key aspects of the Government decisions on the Defence Force's Real Estate Consolidation Strategy.

"A report on the Defence Force's real estate requirements was completed by Coopers and Lybrand in December 1997 and was immediately put in the "too hard" basket by the National Government.

"Over the last few months I have had the report reviewed and updated. The Government has now made the following decisions:

 The Navy will retain its base at Devonport in Auckland, together with the associated facilities at Kauri Point and Whangaparoa.
 The Army will retain its major South Island camp at Burnham and its training area at Tekapo.
 Waiouru will continue to be the Army's major training ground in the North Island.
 The Air Force's base at Hobsonville will be closed and disposed of in due course.
 3 Squadron (Helicopters) will relocate from Hobsonville to Ohakea.
 The SAS unit will relocate from Hobsonville to one area of the former Papakura Camp. The disposal process will continue for the remainder of the former camp.
 The Air Force's basic flying training will move from Ohakea to Woodbourne.
 Whenuapai Air Base will remain in use for the time being and a study will commence to consider possible future uses for the Base, including the viability of a joint military/civilian venture.
 A study will be undertaken to determine the best way for the NZDF to provide housing assistance for its personnel.

"The NZDF is a large and diverse organisation by any standards," Mark Burton said. "Because the NZDF is taxpayer funded it is important that we receive good value for our investment. The decisions announced today are part of an ongoing process of maximising the effectiveness of the taxpayer resources spent on defence.

"Importantly, these announcements will also help remove the uncertainty created by years of indecision and muddled thinking by the previous Government," Mark Burton said.

Ends

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