Sale of surplus Defence Houses could return $50M on Frontline

3 June 2010

Vacant and surplus New Zealand Defence Force houses at military camps and bases around New Zealand are being sold. Proceeds from sales are estimated to return up to $50 million to the Defence Force’s frontline military capability.

In the first phase of the Defence Housing Rationalisation Programme (DHRP), the New Zealand Defence Force is selling 174 vacant Army camp houses at Burnham, Linton and Waiouru, for removal. Sales are being conducted in several stages: the first stage has been completed, and the second stage is currently underway. The third stage will begin in the second half of 2010.
Beyond Burnham, Linton, and Waiouru, other Defence houses around the country are being considered for sale either immediately or over the next 3-5 years.

Demand for Defence houses has fallen significantly since the Defence Force introduced a universal accommodation component to Service personnel’s pay in 2008. Service personnel can now choose to live on base in Defence housing, or can take an equivalent allowance and find accommodation off-base within their local communities.

“This isn’t about the Defence Force reducing the size of our camps and bases. It’s about acknowledging that the needs of our personnel have changed and shifting our resources accordingly. Property management is not our core business and New Zealanders’ tax dollars are better spent ensuring that our Defence Force maintains excellent frontline military capability,” says Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae.

There is a programme in place to upgrade and improve the houses on bases and camps around the country that the Defence Force intends to retain. Refurbishments to the mainly state-house era homes built in the 40s, 50s, and 60s include heat transfer kits, fresh carpet, and under floor insulation.

As vacant house are sold, the existing maintenance budget will then be re-distributed over fewer houses which will allow the works programme to keep pace with improvements required for these older homes. No military personnel entitled to accommodation are being asked to move without equivalent or better accommodation being offered.

Additional facts about the Housing Rationalisation Programme

  • Approximately 20% of 2480 Defence houses are currently vacant.
  • It costs $4778 per annum to maintain each house.
  • Overall 581 houses deemed vacant out of total stock of 2480.
  • 122 houses in Bulls are being subdivided and may be sold as house and land parcels.


For further information please contact Peter Bollmann, Director of Defence Housing, on 0274 573 079

This page was last reviewed on 19 January 2011.