WELLINGTON, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Defense Force's (NZDF) new state-of-art facility replaces Second World War-era buildings and will enable the military to better maintain and repair equipment, Defense Minister Andrew Little said on Wednesday.
The government is making sure the defense force has the modern base facilities they need at Burnham for meeting future challenges, Little said after turning the first sod to start construction of a new Maintenance Support Facility (MSF) at Burnham Military Camp.
"With climate change and an increasingly contested geostrategic environment, including in our Pacific neighborhood, we need to support our defense personnel with the right working environments so they can keep Kiwis safe," Little said.
The Burnham MSF is one of nine major logistics projects to be delivered as part of the Defense Estate Regeneration Program over the next five years and total 224 million NZ dollars (133 million U.S. dollars), he said.
Other projects include a new operational space for the New Zealand Army's transport company, an updated Defense College, a new health and rehabilitation center, and a new fuel facility at Ohakea airbase, according to the minister.
This year the largest pay increase in a decade has been delivered for New Zealand's soldiers, sailors and aviators, Little said, adding that the military also bought new kit including the P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft, the Super Hercules strategic airlift, and Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles.