Burnham, New Zealand

Burnham, also known as Burnham Camp, is the largest army base in New Zealand's South Island. It is located 28 kilometres south of Christchurch on the Canterbury Plains in the Selwyn District, close to the town of Dunsandel. Burnham was named after Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire.[1]

Burnham Camp
Burnham, New Zealand
Burnham Camp
Coordinates43.6145°S 172.3033°E / -43.6145; 172.3033
TypeArmy Camp
Site information
OwnerNew Zealand Defence Force
Controlled by New Zealand Army
Site history
In use1921–present
Garrison information
GarrisonNew Zealand Army

The senior headquarters at the camp has seen many changes. Previously Headquarters 3 Task Force, 3 Task Force Region, HQ Ready Reaction Force, and 3 Land Force Group have been based here. Most recently 3 Land Force Group was disbanded in 2011, and Headquarters Deployable Joint Task Force Headquarters - Land (DJTFHQ-L) was formed.

Units at the camp

1st (New Zealand) Brigade

Combat Units

Combat Support Units

  • 2nd Engineer Regiment,
    • 3rd Field Squadron
    • 3 Emergency Response Troop
  • 1st New Zealand Signal Regiment,
    • 3rd Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
    • 4th Signal Squadron
    • 25 Cypher Section

Combat Service Support Units

  • 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion (Burnham Military Camp)
    • 3rd Transport Company
    • 3rd Catering & Supply Company
    • 3rd Workshop Company
  • 2nd Health Services Battalion,
    • 3rd Health Support Company

Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command

  • Army Adventure Training Centre
  • 3 Regional Training wing
  • Health Services School (2HSB)
  • DHS (NZ) (Defence Health School (NZ))

Lockheed Martin New Zealand

Lockheed Martin New Zealand provides logistics services for the NZDF including Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul, Managed Fleet Utilisation and warehousing.

  • Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul team
  • Managed Fleet Utilisation team

Other Units

  • Army Band
  • Youth Development Unit (YDU)
  • Services Correctional Establishment (SCE)
  • 3rd Military Police Platoon
  • Joint Logistic Support Agency service center
  • Human Resources service center

Medical training

Medical training for the entire NZDF is conducted in Burnham at the Defence Health School and all medics enlisted in the Army, Navy or Air Force are sent here for training. Medics initially complete a one year Diploma of Paramedic Science, followed by one and a half years on the Graduate Diploma of Health Science (Paramedicine). Practical training and clinical placements, both in hospital and on civilian ambulance are completed throughout. Medics are then posted to their respective camps or bases.

Cadet force

Burnham is also home to the Southern HQ of the New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF). They are the Air Training Corps (Air Force), Cadet Corps (Army), and Sea Cadet Corps (Navy).


The barracks in Burnham Camp are named after a miscellany of battles, campaigns, locations and overseas barracks in which New Zealand troops have been stationed.

Borneo Barracks

Borneo Barracks Commemorates what is now known as the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation of 1963–1966), the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and the New Zealand Special Air Service both saw service in this conflict.

Cambrai Barracks

Named after the Battle of Cambrai of Nov -Dec 1917 which saw the first mass use of tanks in battle.

Chunuk Bair Barracks

Chunuk Bair Barracks are named after the August 1915 battle in which the Wellington Regiment occupied one of the highest points on the Gallipoli Peninsular.

Dieppe Barracks

Dieppe Barracks are named after the Singapore garrison of the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment from 1971 to 1980.

Faenza Barracks

Faenza Barracks are named after the Italian city of Faenza which New Zealand Division liberated over the period of 14 - 20 December 1944, during operations to break the German Gothic Line.

Gallipoli Barracks

Gallipoli Barracks are named after the New Zealand's Army's first major campaign of the First World War.

Ipoh Barracks

Ipoh Barracks are named after the town in Malaysia that the 1st Battalion of the New Zealand Regiment were garrisoned in from March 1958 to early 1959 during the Malayan Emergency.

Nee Soon Barracks

Nee Soon Barracks are named after the Singapore garrison of the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment from 1969 to 1971.

Nui Dat Barracks

Nui Dat Barracks are named after the operational base of the 1st Australian Task Force form 1965 to 1971, to which New Zealand contributed;

Quinns Post Barracks

Quinn's Post Barracks are named after one of the strongholds on the ANZAC line during the Gallipoli campaign.

Sangro Barracks

Sangro Barracks are named after the 27/28 November 1943 crossing of the Sangro Rver which was a harsh introduction to the Italian Campaign for the 2nd New Zealand Division.

Sari Bair Barracks

Sari Bair Barracks are name after a tangled mass of hills and watercourses inland from ANZAC Cove and Sulva Bay.

Suvla Barracks

Suvla Barracks are named after the bay which lies at the north-western end of ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli peninsular and was essentially the left flank of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Taiping Barracks

Taiping Barracks are named after the town in Malaysia that in the late 1950s two New Zealand Battalions were garrisoned in during the Malayan emergency.

Terendak Barracks

Terendak Barracks are named after the purpose built brigade camp in Malaysia that was occupied by the New Zealand Army form 1960 to 1969

Tobruk Barracks

Tobruk Barracks are named after besieged Garrison of Tobruk in Libya which the 2nd New Zealand Division and 7th Armored Division held relive on 27 November 1941 during Operation Crusader.

Tui Barracks

Tui Barracks were named after the New Zealand Women's War Service Auxiliary. Raised by Lady Freyberg to support New Zealand troops in Egypt, the ladies of the Womens War Service Auxiliary were unofficially called the Tuis.

See also


  1. Reed, A. W. (2002). The Reed Dictionary of New Zealand Place Names. Auckland: Reed Books. ISBN 0-7900-0761-4.

Further reading

  • Latter, Edward (1992). Marching Onward: A History of 2nd Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, 1845-1992. Christchurch. ISBN 9780473015671.
  • McFarlane, Donald (2008). Short Back and Sides: A History of Burnham Camp 1923-73. Christchurch: Caxton Press. ISBN 9780473137618.
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