New Zealand Defence Industry Update: DEI, updated, CASG visit, and around the bases

Line of Defence Magazine - Update

Chris Penk
Associate Defence Minister Chris Penk visits Devonport. Image: Babcock.

With the Defence Minister undertaking an expansive programme of international engagement in Singapore, the month of June is seeing a high tempo of Defence Industry engagement activities closer to home.

Burnham Health and Rehabilitation Centre

Phil Gurnsey, General Manager Estate and Infrastructure Strategy at New Zealand Defence Force posted on LinkedIn on Friday that ground has been broken on the new Health and Rehabilitation Centre at Burnham Military Camp.

Set to open at the end of 2025, this state-of-the-art facility will house the Medical Treatment Centre, Regimental Aid Post, Dental Services, and Physiotherapy.

“This marks a significant milestone for Burnham Military Camp, the New Zealand Defence Force, and Defence Estate and Infrastructure, said Mr Gurnsey. “I’m proud to be enhancing the well-being and care for our dedicated service members.”

Burnham Medical Treatment Centre. Image: Gurnsey/LinkedIn.

Minister Penk visits Devonport

Associate Minister of Defence Chris Penk last week visited Devonport Naval Base in Auckland, touring the operations of NZDF strategic maritime partner Babcock.

“We were delighted to host Associate Defence Minister Chris Penk MP in Devonport, New Zealand, to showcase our operations as Strategic Maritime Partner to the New Zealand Defence Force,” reported Babcock.

“The Minister received a tour of the facilities where we provide asset management services – including engineering, project management, production and operational support – to the entire Royal New Zealand Navy fleet, with the support of 500 staff and nearly 600 local suppliers.”

Defence Estate and Infrastructure Market Update. Image: Howarth/LinkedIn.

Defence-Industry engagement

Meanwhile, a Defence Estate and Infrastructure Market Update was held in Auckland on Friday, following on from events in Palmerston North and Christchurch.

This followed a visit to New Zealand earlier in the week by Chris Deeble of the Autralian Department of Defence.

“It was a pleasure for MOD and NZDF to host Chris Deeble, Australian Deputy Secretary Capability and Sustainment Group in New Zealand this past week,” posted Debbie Howarth, NZDF Director of Industry & External Engagement.

The event included a meeting with Defence officials and Ministers and finished with an industry briefing in conjunction with the New Zealand Defence Industry Advisory Council (NZDIAC) and New Zealand Defence Industry Association (NZDIA).

“The Industry presentation was, as always very informative and highlighted opportunities on both sides of the Tasman,” said Ms Howarth.

Making way for clean heating. Image: NZDF.

RNZAF Base Ohakea decommissions boiler

The NZDF reports that for the first time, the Manawatū air base will rely on clean electric heating instead of the fossil fuel central heating system of a large boiler suppling hundreds of metres of steel water pipes around the base, which fed underfloor heating and radiator heaters throughout hangars, offices, the fire station and barracks.

The NZDF carried out a feasibility study in 2016 to look at replacing the boiler, including work funded by the Energy, Efficiency & Conservation Authority.

“Not turning on the central boiler is a very significant milestone for both Ohakea and the NZDF,” said Mark Brunton, Head of Defence Estate & Infrastructure.

In 2020, the Government introduced the Carbon Neutral Government Programme (CNGP) that requires all government agencies, including the NZDF, to aim for carbon neutrality by 2025. Transitioning away from fossil fuelled boilers is a priority for all CNGP agencies.

A Measure & Verification Report in May 2024 confirmed the project has resulted in the base achieving a 33 per cent reduction in natural gas consumption, offset by a 12 percent increase in electricity consumption, but resulting in an overall reduction in annual carbon emissions of 270 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.


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