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Shovel-ready investment in South Island estate

Hon Ron Mark
Minister of Defence

Shovel-ready investment in the Defence Force’s South Island estate

A funding boost of $3.9 million from the $3 billion tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure has been allocated to the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) Southern Region Maintenance programme, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced.

The programme was identified through the Infrastructure Reference Group and will create work for local contractors. Work is expected to begin within a month.

“The funding will be used to upgrade facilities at Burnham Military Camp in Canterbury and Woodbourne Airbase in Marlborough. This will provide a welcome injection of funds into the local construction and infrastructure industries and create 18 jobs,” Ron Mark said.

This new funding is in addition to $4.6 million already allocated to the NZDF’s Southern Region for infrastructure maintenance over the next 12 months as part of the Defence Estate Regeneration Programme.

“This funding will go to projects that have been targeted to cover a series of priority areas across wellbeing, heritage, sustainability and maintenance of critical infrastructure.”

Burnham Military Camp is the largest Army camp in the South Island, with around 1300 people who work in camp. It was established in 1923 and was rapidly developed to support New Zealand’s contribution to World War 2.

Woodbourne Airbase, established in 1939, is a joint civil/military airfield operated in conjunction with Marlborough Airport, with strong social and economic links to the Marlborough community.

Projects to be funded include:
Burnham Military Camp

• Glenn Tunnel Road maintenance;
• Camp Barrack refurbishment;
• In line with recent Operation Respect review recommendations, the modification of shower and toilet facilities so that they are fully enclosed to enhance privacy; and
• The refurbishment and restoration of the Old Post Office, which is a New Zealand Heritage category two building.

Woodbourne Airbase

• Base wide exterior and interior redecoration; and
• Heat pump replacement, including the clothing store and family centre.

This additional funding follows the recent announcement of $3.84 million from the $200 million clean-powered public service fund, part of the Government’s New Zealand Upgrade, towards the replacement of a coal boiler with a heat pump alternative at Burnham Military Camp. As well as delivering much needed infrastructure, this is also expected to reduce NZDF’s carbon emissions by around 4860 tonnes per annum.

“The Coalition Government has made significant investments in the Defence Estate this term, with the allocation of $163 million of new capital and operating funding, the increase of the Defence Estate Regeneration Programme capital funding envelope to $2.1 billion, the commencement of over $200 million of infrastructure works for the P-8 fleet, and the approval of a business case for $206 million in upgrades at Ohakea.”

“This recognises the crucial role Defence, and the Defence Estate, plays in promoting the overall wellbeing and resilience of New Zealand, its communities and the environment,” said Ron Mark.

Editors notes
The shovel-ready infrastructure project is being funded as part of the investments announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones on July 1 to kick-start the post COVID-19 rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand.

The $50 billion COVID Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) set out in Budget 2020 earmarked $3 billion for infrastructure projects. Ministers established the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) to work with local councils and businesses to identify a pipeline of projects to support the economy during the COVID-19 rebuild. Cabinet then decided the key sectors and regional breakdown of funds with more than 150 projects worth $2.6 billion being approved in principle.

All approvals are in principle and subject to contract negotiations. Investment values are also subject to change.

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