Burnham Military Camp is the largest Army camp in the South Island, with around 1300 people working there. It is located 28km south of Christchurch. It was established in 1923 and was rapidly developed to support NZ’s contribution to WWII. At the time it was envisaged the camp would last 15-25 years. While the camp has evolved over the years, its form and function has been largely based on 1940s planning and it is now in need of capital investment.
The camp played a pivotal role in the devastating Canterbury earthquakes. At that time the main dining mess fed 3000 people at a sitting.
Catering facilities have been improved since then and the WO & SNCO’s Mess Kitchen has been upgraded. New unit ablution and storage blocks are currently under construction as is a storage node in Tekapo.
Other works in the pipeline include new workshops, warehouses and vehicle shelters, improvements to power and water networks on camp so that reliable heating and hot water can be provided throughout the camp and a health and rehabilitation centre.
Agreement has also just been reached (September 2020) with Selwyn District Council for Burnham Military Camp to connect to the district’s wastewater system.