Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today that approval has been given for the New Zealand Defence Force to progress work on the Consolidated Logistics project at a cost of $130 million over five years.
“New Zealand’s Defence Force holds a wide range of equipment, all of which needs to be stored, maintained and serviced so that it is ready and safe to use when required,” Mr Brownlee says.
“However the systems presently used to do this need to be brought into the modern age.
“More efficient management will allow the Defence Force to reduce the volumes of some equipment held and to be more responsive to new technologies and threats.
“This in turn ensures the capital invested in Defence is able to be focussed on the equipment of highest priority.
“In recent times many other countries have modernised the way their militaries manage logistics, getting greater value for money by managing their equipment holdings more efficiently.
“The New Zealand Defence Force will implement the best of these proven systems,” Mr Brownlee says.
The investment will not change how larger Defence assets, such as ships and aircraft, are managed, as these large systems are already well managed.
However smaller asset types, including vehicle fleets and firearms, will be centralised into regional pools where they can be stored and more efficiently maintained.
“Adopting this approach will create an opportunity to shift around $1.6 billion of capital over the next 25 years from inefficient holdings to a focussed investment on priority capabilities.
“This is about using Defence Force assets better and ensuring taxpayer’s money is being well spent,” Mr Brownlee says.
The Defence Force will now complete plans to upgrade and build new infrastructure, such as storage facilities and maintenance workshops at Linton in the Manawatu and at Burnham near Christchurch. Some of the existing facilities date back to the 1940s.
“Defence will also modernise its computer inventory systems so that all stock holdings can be tracked and their usage history analysed,” Mr Brownlee says.
Nearly all of the implementation costs will be contracted to local industry or to organisations with a local subsidiary or partner. Around $50 million is budgeted for construction projects.
The organisational changes proposed, and outsourcing of maintenance, repair and warehousing functions will create at least 50 new jobs, mostly in the Wellington region and at Linton and Burnham.