The RNZAOC established Vehicle Depots in 1948 when the RNZAOC absorbed the wartime Mechanical Transport Branch (MT Branch). Three Vehicle Depots were established as standalone Ordnance units, separate from the regional Ammunition and Ordnance depots;
- Northern Districts Vehicle Depot (NDVD), at Sylvia Park, Auckland,
- Central Districts Vehicle Depot (CDVD), Trentham Camp,
- Southern Vehicle Depot (SDVD), Burnham Camp.
The role of the Vehicle Depot was to manage;
- a fleet of a “CL” and “GS” vehicles for use during training periods and Annual Camps,
- a pool of “CL” vehicles for admin use, new vehicles pending distribution,
- and BER/BLR vehicles pending repair of disposal.
A typical RNZAOC Vehicle Depot consisted of:
- A Vehicle Park,
- A Kit Kit Store, and at times
- an RNZEME Maintenance Section.
Having the CDVD Located at Trentham was not ideal as Linton and Waiouru housed the bulk of its customer units. The movement of vehicles and personnel between these locations to uplift and return vehicles from the CDVD pool was time-consuming and a significant administrative effort. Therefore in 1957, the decision was made to relocate the CDVD to Linton by 1959.
The move to Linton saw the CDVD relocated to the Battalion Block between the ASC Supply and Transport unit by the Linton railhead and the Central Districts Ordnance Depot (CDOD) in the Northwest of Linton Camp. Occupying purpose-built facilities at Dante Road at Trentham, the move of the CDVD facilitated the construction of storage sheds, complete with servicing pits and a headquarters building at Linton to complement the existing WW2 Era buildings.
Not all the CDVD functions were relocated to Linton, with the Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) establishing a Vehicle Sub Depot with responsibility for;
- The receipt, processing and issue of all new vehicles,
- Custody of vehicles considered part of the Army reserve
- Custody and disposal of surplus vehicles held by CDVD that were declared or about to be declared for disposal.
The CDVD remained a standalone Ordnance unit until 1961, when it became a sub-unit of the Central Districts Ordnance Depot.
Selection of Vehicles held by CDVD Linton1957-61
The following photos illustrate a variety of WW2 Era vehicles held by the CDVD between1957-61. These could be pool vehicles for the Central Districts, or as the NZ Army was introducing into service the RL Bedford and Series 2 Land Rover, these could be vehicles for disposal.
GMC CCKW 2½-ton 6×6 truck
GMC CCKW 2½-ton 6×6 truck (Binned Stores)
CMP Ford GS 4 X4
CMP Chevrolet GS 4×4
CMP Chevrolet 4×4
CMP Chevrolet 15-cwt
CMP Chevrolet 3 -ton 4 x 4 Wrecker
As the NZ Army vehicle fleets changed, the need for dedicated Vehicle Sections decreased, with the vehicle sections within the RNZAOC Supply Company’s shadows of the Vehicle Depots of the 50’ and ’60s.
In the modern New Zealand Army, managing vehicles in pools were reinvented in 2011 with the creation of the Managed Fleet Utilisation (MFU) programme. The MFU programme was several equipment fleets managed as a loan pool on behalf of the New Zealand Defence Force by a civilian contractor.
In 2020 the same WW2 Era buildings alongside the building erected in 1958 that served the CDVD in 1958 are still utilised by the MFU and the legacy RNZALR Supply Company.