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Minister Opens New Building at Ohakea

Minister of Defence, Dr. Jonathan Coleman cuts the ribbon at the opening the new MSS building.

The new Air Force Maintenance Support Squadron (MSS) Building at RNZAF Base Ohakea was opened today by the Minister of Defence, Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman.

The Air Force facility is one of the largest construction projects undertaken by the New Zealand Defence Force since World War II," said Chief of Air Force, Air-Vice Marshal Peter Stockwell.

The $43 million, purpose built facility, located in the North-East quadrant of RNZAF Base Ohakea, took just eighteen months to construct.

At nearly 13,000 square metres, the new facility, comprises the main workshop building, aircraft finishing building and three small ancillary buildings. The facility contains offices and fourteen industrial engineering workshops and maintenance areas. The workshops will be used to support all of the Air Force’s aircraft fleets including the newest capabilities, the A109 and NH90 helicopters. It will also provide engineering support to the NZ Army and the Royal New Zealand Navy.

The workshops were originally housed in a number of disjointed buildings constructed between 1937 and 1950. The old buildings are to be removed to make way for the construction of a new air movements terminal.

The building is distinctive with a 23m orange tower which houses one of the largest parachute washing and drying facilities to be built in New Zealand to handle the cargo parachutes used in the air-dropping of supplies.

The eco-design facility also has a New Zealand 5 Green Star Industrial Design Rating. Sustainable features include efficient lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, insulation, gas fired water heating, and rain water harvesting capabilities. A Green Star rating for the building’s construction is also being sought.

"The benefit of an eco-design is a better environment for people working in the buildings. Its forward-thinking design makes it a very impressive building and one we are very proud to have to support our operations," said AVM Stockwell.

This modern, fit-for-purpose, facility will see the Air Force and the New Zealand Defence Force well able to conduct aeronautical maintenance and engineering support for the next fifty years.

ENDS

For further information contact: Lyn Coromandel, Defence Communications Group on 04 496 0738 or 021 420 899

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