Governor-General returns to Burnham to thank soldiers for earthquake support

01 March 2012

The Governor-General of New Zealand, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, and Lady Janine Mateparae, has been welcomed to Burnham Military Camp where he thanked Defence Force personnel for their efforts in the 22 February earthquake.

Sir Jerry chats with personnel at Burnham Camp (20120223_WB_N1026341_0004).
Sir Jerry chats with personnel at Burnham Camp (20120223_WB_N1026341_0004).

The Governor General was welcomed by a powhiri and a Royal Guard and talked to Camp personnel about their earthquake work and experiences.

Young soldiers commented that it meant a lot to have the Governor-General come to see them and shake their hand. The Governor-General, who is the former Chief of Defence Force, was based in Burnham when he was in the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) and talked to many of his former soldiers who shared their personal earthquake experiences with him.

At the height of Defence Force operations over 1700 personnel were involved in earthquake rescue, recovery and security support. One year on, Reserve Force personnel continue to secure the cordon in the Christchurch CBD.

In addition, Defence Force people continue to live and work under difficult conditions in the Christchurch area, with the Defence Force making a significant contribution in the region through Navy personnel at Pegasus, tri-service recruiters, the Air Movements team at Harewood, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, and staff at the Air Force Museum at Wigram.

New Zealand Defence Force support by the numbers

  • 1796 NZ Defence Force personnel. At the peak of the operation on 2 March, 1796 NZ Defence Force personnel made up of 239 Navy, 1379 Army and 150 Air Force regular force and territorial/reserve personnel have been directly involved on the ground in Christchurch. There were many more personnel working in support of the operation in Burnham, Wellington, Linton, Ohakea, Devonport and Whenuapai.
  • 10 RNZAF aircraft were involved over the course of the operation, made up of Boeing 757s, C-130 Hercules, Kingair, Iroquois helicopters and the P3-K Orion.
  • The C-130 and B757s aircraft moved a total of 4278 passengers and 268894 lbs of freight (a combined total weight including passengers, freight and baggage of 674639 lbs).
  • Army catering staff produced more than 5000 meals per day for Police, Fire Service, Search and Rescue teams and military personnel.
  • 77 Unimogs, 47 Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles (LOV), and 28 Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV) formed part of the response, with the Unimogs mostly used for the transportation of equipment and stores.
  • Four Royal New Zealand Navy ships, the HMNZS CANTERBURY, HMNZS PUKAKI, HMNZS OTAGO and HMNZS RESOLUTION were all been involved with taskings.
  • The CANTERBURY transported a total of 1707 tonnes of vehicles and equipment and 375 personnel in and out of Lyttelton.
  • 129 Singapore Armed Forces personnel assisted NZ Defence Force personnel and the NZ Police on the cordon.
  • 2 Singapore Armed Forces C-130 Hercules aircraft were based at Whenuapai, and carried out taskings for freight and personnel movement.
This page was last reviewed on 1 March 2012.