Military conscription in New Zealand was first introduced in 1910 to build and maintain a credible force that would allow New Zealand to play its part in defence of the British Empire. Initially intended to feed the Territorial Army, conscription was extended in 1916 to allow men to be conscripted directly into the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). Conscription would be suspended during the lean post-Bellum years and re-established in 1940 as a wartime measure to satisfy New Zealand’s wartime personnel commitments.
New Zealand’s 1945 post-war commitments required the raising and mounting of a Division for service in the Middle East. The only way the personnel requirements for a Division could be met would be through conscription. A referendum was conducted in1949, resulting in a yes for Compulsory Military Training (CMT), which would commence in 1950.
The CMT scheme would train 63033 men up to 1958 when the Labour Government ceased CMT. In 1961 the National Government introduced a new National Service Act, which would require all males to register with the Labour Department on or before their 20th birthday. Following registration, ballots would be conducted to select individuals to undertake military training.
Training would consist of three months of initial full-time training, during which the men would be given the choice of three weeks part-time training in a Territorial unit for three years or one year’s service in a Regular Force unit. The National Service Scheme would last until 1972, when it was discontinued due to a changing social and economic environment.
Since 1972 there has been no Military conscription in New Zealand. Since 1972 there have been many calls for the re-introduction of Military conscription to instill a sense of citizenship and discipline to reduce unemployment and youth crime. However, no major political party has made any significant policy statements on the re-introduction of military conscription.
The following are the remanences of John Mudgway, who at the age of 19, was selected by Ballot to undertake National Service as part of the first intake in 1961.
My Military Career by John Mudgway
When the National Government brought back military service in 1961 it was named National Service. We had to register with the Labour Department and the Golden Kiwi lottery marbles were used to draw certain birth dates. The “winners” of these birth dates were ordered into Waiouru Military Camp for 7 weeks basic training and were then posted to a Territorial Unit to complete their 3-year term. This was done in 3 annual camps, plus local parades. They then went to reserves for a further three years.
There was an option offered to us – which was we could serve one-year regular force and then be put on reserve for a further 3 years. I chose the latter.
Waiouru Camp 10 May 1962 – 27 June 1962
I was posted to Waiouru Military Camp and arrived on 9th May 1962, along with 549 other young lads.
I did seven weeks basic training – learning the military way of life, marching, shooting, and cleaning boots and weapons etc. One lasting memory I have is of being told that – in the event of an atomic blast, lay on the ground, cover myself with my greatcoat, have no skin exposed – and I would survive!
Trentham Military Camp 28 June 1962 – 9 May 1963
When I arrived in camp, RSM Ordnance Schools, School Sergeant Major Alfred Wesseldine, decided they would not run the school for just me, so I was posted direct to MT Spares for the duration of my service.
Myself (Pte John Mudgway) (on left) and Dennis Leslie Goldfinch (who retired as a WO1). We are facing the main building of MT Spares in the MOD Compound. August 1962. Behind us in part of the wavy roof building, was the Uniform Store and smoko room. On our left is a large, grassed area that was covered in 25 pounder artillery pieces that were being cut up for scrap by a private contractor. Further to the left was the Tyre Store that “Goldie” was in charge of.
During my service in RNZAOC I participated in several events.
I was part of a Guard of Honour for the Chief of the Imperial General Staff at Wellington Airport when he flew in. I was also in a Guard of Honour for the NZ Chief of Staff at Wellington Airport when he flew in.
I was part of the street lining contingent that paraded on the streets of Wellington City for the Queen when she visited in February 11 & 12 1964. (I saw her 23 times). We drove the streets of Wellington in 2 RL Bedfords, to places in streets she was to move through, detrucked and stood at attention on the road-sides while she passed, back to the trucks and on to our next destination. She must have thought there were a lot of handsome young lads in our army.
Escorted a prisoner the Ardmore Prison, by overnight train in 1964. I was the junior escort.
I was dragged out of the barracks at 2am one morning and trucked over to Mangaroa, Whitemans Valley Tent Loft to drag tents from a burnt-out building.
One of my jobs during my service was to sit out between two of the stores buildings and empty the brass fire extinguishers that had been returned to us from all the other stores round the country. These extinguishers were filled with carbon-tetrachloride and after spraying the contents into buckets for several days we were quite “high” ourselves. I presume the brass containers went for scrap.
During my time in M T Spares I worked with Staff Sgt Kevin Anderson, Goldie of course, and Pte’s Vic Fletcher and Tammy Tamihana. Our Stores Officer was Geoff Atkinson first, then latterly Captain R G H Golightly. Our C S M was WO 1 Maurie Bull. We also had some civilian workers in our stores, one of whom was retired Sgt Bert Royal. Also there were a group of prisoners from Waitako Prison that used to come and do the “dirty jobs” that we didn’t have to do.
I also did a couple of Camp Patrols in the MOD Compound. We had to patrol the compound several times during the night and were supposed to sleep in the Gate House.
Not a bad years work for a 19/20 year old Hastings lad.
This would be a significant period for the RNZAOC. The RNZAOC School would be established, and challenges with officer recruitment identified. This period would also see the fruition of plans to re-shape the Army into a modern and well-equipped Army with the first tranches of new equipment arriving to replace much of the legacy wartime equipment.
Director of Ordnance Services
Temporary Lieutenant Colonel H. McK. Reid
Chief Inspecting Ordnance Officer
Major JW Marriot
Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot
Major Harry White, from 1 May 1959
Chief Instructor – Major Harry White
Regimental Sergeant Major – Warrant Officer Class One Alfred Wesseldine
2nd Battalion, the New Zealand Regiment
Reformed at Waiouru in July 1959, the 2nd Battalion of the New Zealand Regiment would undertake workup and training that would see the Battalion deploy to Malaya in November 1959 to relieve the 1st Battalion. To enable the 2nd Battalion to conduct its training and work up the RNZAOC would equip the Battalion for the ground up with its necessary entitlement of equipment from existing holdings.
Establishment of RNZOAC School
Under discussion by the Army Board since 1956, the RNZAOC School was established in September 1959. Established within the Peacetime Establishment of the Main Ordnance Depot, the RNZAOC School would be under HQ Ordnance Services’ direct control and independent of the Army Schools.
The initial school organisation would be.
Chief Instructor – Major Harry White
School Sergeant Major – Warrant Officer Class One Wesseldine
Stores and Vehicle Wing
The function of the RNZAOC School would be to run courses and training for RF and TF personnel of the RNZAOC, including
Star Classification Courses – particularly for Storeman/Clerks RNZAOC and Ammunition Examiners.
Promotion courses for both officers and ORs.
Recruit training RNZAOC Personnel, including Recruit training for Group 2 personnel.
Advanced training for both officers and ORs, in all types of Ordnance activities.
Technical training in ordnance subjects, e.g. Inspecting Ordnance Officer courses.
Preservations and packing etc.
Refresher training for qualified personnel.
Other course notified in the annual Forecast of Courses.
Additionally, as directed by DOS, the RNZAOC School was required to.
Plan and hold conferences and training exercises.
Draft procedure instructions.
Test, or comment on new procedures, materials, or equipment.
Research various aspects of Ordnance activities.
The first course conducted by the RNZAOC School would be an Instructors Course conducted in late 1959.
A forecast of the planned retirement of RNZAOC Officers up to 1962 showed that Seventeen officers would be retiring. Up to this period, the principal means of filling RNZAOC officer posts had been thru the commissioning of Other Ranks with Quartermaster Commissions, with only three officers joining the RNZAOC as Officers since November 1956. When the planned Officer retirements had been balanced against the RNZAOC officer establishment, it was found that the RNZAOC was deficient six Officers with two significant problems identified.
The RNZAOC Officer Corps was becoming a Corps of old men, with 83% of Officers in the 39 to 54 age group
The RNZAOC Other Ranks Structure was denuded of the best SNCO’s and Warrant Officers.
To rectify the situation, the following recommendations were made.
The RNZAOC press for an increased intake from Duntroon and Portsea of graduates to the RNZAOC.
Suitable officers no older than 30 years of age, and in the two to four-year Lieutenant bracket, be encouraged to change Corps to the RNZAOC.
Further commissioning of QM officers be strongly resisted unless there was no other alternative.
Over the period 1 -3 September 1959, DOS hosted a conference at Army HQ for the District DADOS, Officer Commanding MOD, and the Ordnance Directorate members. The general agenda of the meeting included.
Local purchase of stores by DADOS
Training of group 2 Personnel
Personnel – postings and promotions
DADOS and OC MOD were required to provide in duplicate, personnel lists by unit containing.
Regimental No, rank, and name
Establishment statue, either PES, CSS or HSS
Purchases for RF Brigade Group
Small Arms Ammunition
The 7.62mm rifle introduction would require the Colonial Ammunitions Company to convert manufacture from the current 303 calibre to the new 7.62mm calibre. The CAC had been the supplier of Small Arms Ammunition to the Defence Force since 1888 and to maintain this long relationship had purchased and installed the required tools and machinery to allow the production of 7.62 ammunition, with the first production run completed during this period. Although the NZ Army had sufficient stocks of .303 ammunition for the foreseeable future, CAC would retain the capability to manufacture 303 ammunition if required.
Introduction of New Equipment
As new equipment was introduced, the RNZAOC would play an essential role in the acceptance processes. Upon delivery from the supplier, the equipment, accessories, and spares would be received into the Main Ordnance Depot. The equipment would be inspected and kitted out with all its accessories before distribution to units. Several examples may have been retained in RNZAOC Depots as War Reserve/Repair and Maintenance Stock depending on the equipment. Maintenance stocks of accessories and spares were maintained as operating stock in RNZAOC depots. If the new equipment contained a weapon system, ammunition specific to the equipment was managed by RNZAOC Ammunition Depots. During this period, the following equipment was introduced into service;
110 Land Rover Series 2a 109.
144 Truck 3-Ton Bedford RL, 48 fitted with winch
3 Ferret Mark 1/1 Scout Car
270 Wireless Sets. C45 – VHF transceiver,
2000 9mm Sub Machine Gun Sterling Mk4 L2A3.
500 7.62 mm Self Loading Rifle, L1A1 (SLR).
The Clothing and Equipment Committee accepted as the basic training uniform for New Zealand soldiers in all conditions in NZ to be;
Boots (Fory types under trial and development)
Anklets (Australian pattern)
Shirt (light wool)
Trouser ( Green drill material cut to UK pattern)
Hat (Jungle Type)
In August 1958 a new disposal organisation was established within the Army to manage the declaration and disposal of surplus and obsolete equipment. Since August 1959 over 9000 lines covering thousands of items had been declared to the Government Stores Board for Disposal through this new disposal’s organisation.
The disposal of dangerous or obsolete ammunition continued with over 900 tons of obsolete ammunition dumped at sea. An additional 130,000 rounds of dangerous artillery ammunition were destroyed by burning or detonation.
Where possible the maximum amount of recyclable metal was salvaged, with around £10000 (2020 NZ$243,276) received for the scrap and containers sold.
Following successful user trials, the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps (RNZASC) assembled 24000 one-person 24-hour ration packs during 1959. Along with new solid fuel cookers, these new ration packs were extensively used by the 2nd Battalion the NZ Regiment in the build-up Training for Malaya and the Territorial Force during the Annual Camp.
Staff Sergeant I.G Campbell, RNZAOC was selected by the National Rifle Association as a team member representing New Zealand at 91st Annual Prize Meeting at Bisley in the United Kingdom, 4- 20 July 1960.
Award of Army Sports Colours
In recognition of his contribution to Army Sport, Major D.E Roderick of Auckland was a recipient of the 1960 Army Sports Colours. Major Roderick has represented Army at cricket, hockey and badminton and was instrumental in developing the sports facilities at Trentham Camp. Within the RNZAOC Major Roderick had been a long-term member of the Upper Hutt Cricket Club and a player and administrator of the MOD Cricket team. 
Honours and Awards
British Empire Medal
Sergeant (Temporary Staff Sergeant) Maurice William Loveday, Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Regular Force), of Trentham.
Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, Resignations, and Retirements of Officers of the RNZAOC
Major Ronald Geoffrey Patrick O’Connor is transferred to the Reserve of Officers, General List, Royal NZ Army Ordnance, in Major’s rank, 4 May 1959.
Major and Quartermaster K. A. Bailey, M.M., having reached retiring age for rank, is transferred to the Supernumerary list, and granted an extension of his engagement until 12 January 1960, 11 August 1959.
Captain Frederick George Cross is transferred to the Reserve of Officers, General List, Royal NZAOC, in the rank of Captain, 1 September 1959. 
Captain L. C. King is re-engaged for a period of one year, as from 4 October 1959.
Captain (temp. Major) J. Harvey relinquishes the temporary rank of Major, 6 March 1960.
Regular Force (Supernumerary List)
Major and Quartermaster K. A. Bailey, MM., is granted an extension of his engagement for one year from 13 January 1960.
Captain and Quartermaster S. H. E. Bryant is re-engaged for one year as from 28 October 1959.
Captain and Quartermaster R. P. Kennedy, E.D., is re-engaged for a period of one year as from 13 April 1960.
Lieutenant and Quartermaster George Witherman McCullough is posted to the Retired List, 12 February 1960.
2nd Lieutenant J. T. Skedden to be Lieutenant, 12 December 1959.
Lieutenant and Quartermaster R. H. Colwill to be temporary Captain and Quartermaster, 9 February 1960.
Captain Keith Stothard Brown relinquishes the appointment of OC, Technical Stores Platoon, 1st Divisional Ordnance Field Park, RNZAOC and is posted to the Retired List, 4 August 1959.
Reserve of Officers
Captain Hugo Sarginsone posted to the Retired List, 10 July 1959.
Captain Noel Lester Wallburton posted to the Retired List, 10 August 1959.
Captain Sidney Paxton Stewart posted to the Retired List, I September 1959. 
Major Percival Nowell Erridge, MBE posted to the Retired List, 25 December 1959.
Major Alexander Basil Owen Herd, from the British Regular Army Reserve· of Officers, to be Major, 3 October I 959.
Major Frank Owen L’Estrange, from the British Regular Army Reserve of Officers, to be Major, 11 November 1959.
Captain Cyril Peter Derbyshire, from the British Regular Army Reserve of Officers, to be Captain, 1 January 1960.
Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, Resignations, and Retirements of Warrant Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, and men of the RNZAOC
H594833 Private David Orr NZ Regiment Transferred into the RNZAOC, November 1959.
B31685 Staff Sergeant Ian McDonald Russell promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer Class Two, 23 June 1959.
 “Charter for the Rnzaoc School,” in Organisation – Policy and General – RNZAOC (Archives New Zealand No R173115371960); Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 176-77, 252.
Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).
 “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1959 to 31 March 1960,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (1960).
This period would see the RNZAOC. Continue to support Regular, Territorial and Compulsory Military Training. Ongoing support to Kayforce would continue.
Director of Ordnance Services
Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OBE
Technical Assistant to the Chief Inspection Ordnance Officer
Captain N.C Fisher (Until 24 July 1953)
Warrant Officer L Smith (From 25 July 1953)
Northern Military District
District Inspecting Ordnance Officer
Captain E.D Gerard (until 9 Aug 1953)
Captain E.D Gerard (from 28 Aug 1953)
Officer Commanding Northern District Ammunition Repair Depot
Captain Pipson (From 28 Aug 1953)
Central Military District
District Inspecting Ordnance Officer
Captain N.C Fisher (From 9 Aug 1953)
Compulsory Military Training
During this period three CMT intakes marched in;
9th intake of 2954 recruits on 9 April1953
10th intake of 2610 recruits on 2 July 1953
11th intake of 2610 recruits on 24 September 1953
12th intake of 2200 recruits on 5 January 1954
On completion of CMT recruit training, recruits were posted to Territorial units close to their home location to complete their CMT commitment, with RNZAOC CMT recruits posted to either
1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Hopuhopu
2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Mangaroa.
3rd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Burnham
Ordnance in the New Zealand Division
The RNZAOC elements of the Territorial Force had been reorganised in 1948, this had been a reorganisation that had taken place over three stages with Officers and then NCOs recruited, followed by the soldiers recruited through the CMT scheme to fill the ranks. By September 1953 the RNZOAC units within the Division had rapidly grown and the CRAOC of the NZ Division provided clarification in the organisation and duties of the RNZAOC units in the NZ Division.
RNZAOC representative at Division Headquarters.
Exercised Regimental command and Technical control of RNZAOC unit in the Division.
Divisional Ordnance Field Park
The functions of the OFP were.
Park HQ – Technical Control of the OFP
Regimental Section – Regimental Control of the OFP
Delivery Section – Collects and delivers operationally urgent stores
MT Stores Platoon – Carried two months of frequently required spare and minor assemblies for vehicles held by the Division
Tech Stores Platoon – Carried two months of frequently required spares for all guns, small arms, wireless and Signals equipment of the Division.
Gen Stores Platoon – Carried a small range of frequently required items of clothing, general stores, and the Divisional Reserve of Industrial gases.
Mobile Laundry and Bath Company
The functions of the Mobile Laundry and Bath Company was to provide bathing facilities and to wash troops under clothing.
RNZAOC Stores Sections
One RNZAOC Store Sections was attached to each Infantry Brigade Workshop, maintaining a stock of spares required for the repair of the Divisions equipment. The Stores sections would demand direct from the Base or Advance Base Ordnance Depot not the OFP.
Brigade Warrant Officers
RNZAOC representative at Brigade Headquarters
Presentation of Coronation Trophy
In celebration to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Coronation Trophy was presented to the Central Districts Training Depot by All Ranks of the RNZAOC from the Central Military District. The exact criteria for the presentation of the trophy has been long forgotten, however from the 11th CMT intake the Coronation Trophy would be awarded to an outstanding student of each CMT intake. 76
Acquisition of additional Training areas by NZ Army
To provide suitable training areas in all three military districts, firing and manoeuvre rights were obtained over 30000acres of land adjoining the Mackenzie District near lake Tekapo. The allowed all South Island units the ability to carry out realistic tactical training during their summer camps.
In July 1953 Serious flooding affected the Waikato with soldiers from Hopuhopu Camp taking a prominent part in the relief operations. Solders from the 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park, utilising vehicles with extended air intakes and exhausts and operating in areas that had been flooded to a depth of 1.4 meters deep assisted in rescuing families and livestock and distributing fodder to marooned animals.
Tangiwai Railway Disaster
The Tangiwai disaster occurred at Christmas eve 1953 when the Whangaehu River Railway bridge collapsed as the Wellington-to-Auckland express passenger train was crossing it with a loss of 151 Lives. With Waiouru in proximity, the army was quick to respond, with rescue teams deploying from Waiouru with the first survivors admitted into the Waiouru Camp Hospital by 4 am. Representing the RNZAOC in the search parties were Warrant officer Class One P Best and Corporal Eric Ray.
Royal Tour 23 December 1953 – 31 Jan 1954
Emergency Force (Kayforce)
The RNZAOC continued to support Kayforce with the dispatch of regular consignments of Maintenance stores and with all requests for stores by Kayforce met.
This period saw the first RNZAOC men rotated and replaced out of Kayforce;
Out of Kayforce
Private Dennis Arthur Astwood, 8 December 1953
Lance Corporal Thomas Joseph Fitzsimons, 6 January 1954
Lance Corporal Owen Fowell, 2 September 1953
Private Gane Cornelius Hibberd, 13 May 1953,
Corporal Leonard Ferner Holder, 4 September 1953
Corporal Wiremu Matenga, 6 January 1954
Into Kay force
Private Richard John Smart, 25 June 1953
Private Abraham Barbara, 30 December 1953
Private Ernest Radnell, 29 December 1953
Sergeant Harold Earnest Strange Fry, 29 January 1954
Corporal Edward Tanguru, 25 February 1954
Gunner John Neil Campbell, 24 March 1954
Seconded to Fiji Military Forces
Lieutenant and Quartermaster Rodger Dillon Wederell remained seconded to the Fiji Military Forces.
Ordnance Conference 18-19 August 1953
The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Army Headquarters over the period 21-23 April 1953. No detailed agenda remains.
Routine Ordnance Activities
Over this period the RNZAOC in addition to its regular duties of provision, holding and the issue of multitudinous stores required by the Army including the additional issue of training equipment to the territorial Force allowing all unit’s enough equipment for normal training.
Ammunition Examiner Qualification
The following soldiers qualified as Ammunition Examiners
Corporal G.T Dimmock (SMD)
Corporal M.M Loveday (CMD)
Corporal Roche (MMD)
Lance Corporal H.E Luskie (SMD)
Lance Corporal Radford (NMD)
Small Arms Ammunition
Production of small-arms ammunition had met the monthly target, with the ammunition, fully proofed and inspected before acceptance.
Support to the French War in Vietnam
During this period the RNZAOC prepared a second consignment of stores and equipment for transfer to the French in Vietnam. Transferred from surplus and obsolete stocks held in RNZAOC depots, the following items would be dispatched to Vietnam;
As new equipment was introduced, the RNZAOC would play an essential role in the acceptance processes. Upon delivery from the supplier, the equipment, its accessories and spares would be received into an RNZAOC Depot. The equipment would be inspected and kitted out with all its accessories before distribution to units. Depending on the equipment, several examples may have been retained in RNZAOC Depots as War Reserve/Repair and Maintenance Stock. Maintenance stocks of accessories and spares were maintained as operating stock in RNZAOC depots. If the new equipment was or contained a weapon system, ammunition specific to the equipment was managed by RNZAOC Ammunition Depots.
During this period, the following equipment was introduced into service;
57 M20 Mk 2 3.5-inch Rocket Launchers
Anti-Tank Grenade No 94 Engera
1 120mm BAT L1 Recoilless Rifle
3 Centurion Tanks
150 Series 1 80″ Land-Rovers
Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.)
PrivateGeorge Thomas Dimmock to Lance Corporal – 1 April 1953
Temporary Warrant Officer Class Two Alick Claude Doyle to Substantive WO2, 1 April 1953
Lieutenant J. Harvey to Captain. 9 December 1953.
Captain (temp. Major) H. McK Reid to Major. 22 January 1954.
Lieutenant-Colonel (temp Colonel) A. H. Andrews, OBE, BE, to Colonel. 21 October 1953.
Lieutenant and Quartermaster T Rose to be Captain and Quartermaster. 1 May 1953.
Enlistments into the RNZAOC
John Gunn, 21 September 1953
Leonard T Conlon, 16 June 1953
Keith A Parker, 17 July 1953
Appointments into the RNZAOC
Edward Francis Lambert Russell, late Captain RAOC, appointed as Lieutenant (on prob.), with seniority from 26 November 1949, posted as Vehicle. Spares Officer, Vehicle Spares Group, Main Ordnance Depot, 26 November 1953.
The following RNZAOC soldiers were re-engaged into the New Zealand Regular Force;
Sergeant W.J Smith for one year from April 1953, in the rank of Private
Warrant Officer Class One W.S Valentine, on a month to month basis until 31 March 1954
Corporal H.H Regnault, on a month to month basis until 31 March 1954
On 16 July 1953 Maurice Richard John Keeler, Ordnance Officer, Northern; District Ordnance Depot, RNZAOC Ngaruawahia, was authorized to take and receive statutory declarations under section 301 of the Justices of the Peace Act 1927.
“Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army.” New Zealand Gazette No 9, 4 February 1954.
“Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army.” New Zealand Gazette No 13, 25 February 1954.
“Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army.” New Zealand Gazette No 15, 11 March 1954.
“Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army.” New Zealand Gazette No 72, 17 December 1953.
“Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army.” New Zealand Gazette No 35, 3 June 1954.
“Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army.” New Zealand Gazette No 48, 20 August 1953.
“Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army.” New Zealand Gazette No 1, 7 January 1954.
Cooke, Peter. Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72. Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013.
“Coronation Honours List.” New Zealand Gazette No 33, 11 June 1953.
Fenton, Damien. A False Sense of Security : The Force Structure of the New Zealand Army 1946-1978. Occasional Paper / Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand: No. 1. Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, 1998. Bibliographies, Non-fiction.
“H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “. Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (3 July 1955 1955).
“Officer Authorized to Take and Receive Statutory Declarations “. New Zealand Gazette No 42, 23 July 1953.
Rabel, Roberto Giorgio. New Zealand and the Vietnam War : Politics and Diplomacy. Auckland University Press, 2005. Bibliographies, Non-fiction.
 “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (1955).
 Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.
 Damien Fenton, A False Sense of Security : The Force Structure of the New Zealand Army 1946-1978, Occasional Paper / Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand: No. 1 (Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, 1998), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 8-9.
 Roberto Giorgio Rabel, New Zealand and the Vietnam War : Politics and Diplomacy (Auckland University Press, 2005), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 16.
 Possibly surplus 37mm rounds used on New Zealand’s Stuart tanks which would have been compatible with weapon platforms in use with the French
 Fenton, A False Sense of Security : The Force Structure of the New Zealand Army 1946-1978, 21.
 “Coronation Honours List,” New Zealand Gazette No 33, 11 June 1953, 911.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 9, 4 February 1954, 180.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 13, 25 February 1954, 294.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 15, 11 March 1954, 384.
From 1920 to 1996, Trentham Camp in Wellington’s Hutt Valley was home to the New Zealand’s Army’s principle Ordnance Depot. During its 76 year tenure as a Ordnance Depot, also every New Zealand Army Ordnance Officer and Soldier would at some stage of their career work at, pass through or have some interaction with the Trentham Ordnance Depot.
Using a 1983 Depot plan as a reference point , this article takes a look back at how the Trentham Ordnance Depot developed from 1920 to 1996.
In 1920 the NZAOC had its Headquarters and main depot located at Alexandra Barracks at Mount Cook, Wellington. In the regions Ordnance Stores were maintained at Mount Eden, Palmerston North, Trentham Camp, Featherston Camp, Mount Cook, Christchurch and Dunedin.
As part of the post war reduction of the Army and the rationalization of the the Ordnance Services, the early interwar years would be a period of transition. In the South Island, the Dunedin and Christchurch Ordnance Stores would close and relocate to Burnham Camp. In the North Island the Palmerston North Depot would close and the main depot at Mount Cook would relocate to Trentham Camp to establish the Main Ordnance Depot.
The Featherson Camp and Mount Eden Ordnance Stores would remain in operation until 1928 when a new Purpose built Ordnance Depot at Hopuhopu in the Waikato was constructed.
With no purpose built storage accommodation, the NZAOC Main Ordnance Depot at Trentham Camp would in the years leading up to the Second World War would utilise up to one hundred different existing camp administrative and accommodation structures as its primary means of warehousing.
Seen here shortly after is construction in late 1940/early 1941, this warehouse (Building 73) was constructed as part of a wider nationwide program of defence works. With the contracts for construction let in 1938 and construction beginning in 1939, Building 73 was constructed using reinforced concrete and designed with nine bays that allowed the loading and unloading of Trains on one side, and Motor transport on the other. The design and layout of building 73 would be utilised as the model for new warehouses that would later be constructed at Burnham and Waiouru.
From this November 1941 photo the full size of Building 73 can be appreciated in comparison to the World War One era buildings in which many of the Main Ordnance Depots Stores had been held in during the inter war years. Under construction is Building 68, which in later years would become the Direct Support Section (DSS), Building 87 (Dental Stores) and Building 88 (Detention Block)
Although Building 73 provided a huge increase in storage capability, wartime demands soon necessitated further increases in storage infrastructure, immediately obvious is Building 74. Building 74 was a near duplicate of building 73 with the main exception that due to wartime constraints it was constructed out of wood instead of reinforced concrete.
Building 86 has been completed and connected to it is Building 70, which would later become the Textile Repair Shop.
Buildings 64, 65 and 66 have been completed with Building’s 60 and 61 under construction.
By 1944, despite the wartime expansion of the Main Ordnance Depot, storage requirements still exceeded available storage at the Main Ordnance Depot, with a large amount of items held in Sub Depots at Māngere, Linton Camp, Whanganui, Waiouru, Lower Hutt and Wellington.
Twelve addition warehouses can be seen to the East of Buildings 73 and 74, and Building 26 is under construction.
These two photos from late 1945 show the extent of the wartime expansion of the Main Ordnance Depot.
The latest additions are Buildings 27,28,29. 30 and 31. These buildings has originally been built for the United States Forces at Waterloo in Lower Hutt by the Public Works Department. Surplus to the United States requirements due to their downsizing in New Zealand, the buildings had been transferred to the NZ Army. The first building was disassembled and re-erected at Trentham by the end of September 1945 with the follow-on buildings re-erected at a rate of one per month, with all construction completed by February 1946
Twenty Years later much of the wartime infrastructure constructed for the Main Ordnance Depot and much of the First World War camp accommodation remains in use. During the 1950’s the compound at Dante Road had been developed for the Central Districts Vehicle Depot. When that unit relocated to Linton in 1958 the compound became the Main Ordnance Depot Vehicle Sub-Depot. On the right side of the photo, the large building the Ordnance Depot is the General Motors Plant.
By 1974, much of the central infrastructure remains, however, the eleven sheds constructed in 1943/44 have been demolished.
1n 1979 the Main Ordnance Depot was renamed as as 1 Base Supply Battalion, RNZOAC. There has been little change to the WW2 Infrastructure.
In one of the largest infrastructure investments since 1939 and the first modern warehouse built for the RNZAOC since 1972, a new warehouse was opened in 1988. Designed to accommodate 3700 pallets and replace the existing WW2 Era Storage, the new award winning warehouse was constructed at a cost of $1.6 million. In addition to the high rise pallet racking for bulk stores, a vertical storage carousel capable of holding 12,000 detail items would be installed at a later date.
On 8 December 1996 the RNZAOC was amalgamated into the the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment, bringing to an end the Ordnance Corps association with Trentham Camp that had existed since 1920.
Further developments would occur in January 1998 when the the entire military warehousing and maintenance functions in Trentham camp were commercialised and placed under the control of civilian contractors.
During this period, the peacetime Army undertook a reorganisation so that in the event of war it would be trained and equipped to rapidly and efficiently conduct operations. Based on this principle, units and formations of the Army were structured as follows:
Army Troops; including Army Headquarters, Army Schools, and base units.
District Troops; including District and Area Headquarters, Coast and Antiaircraft Artillery.
In general, Army Troops contained the machinery for the higher command and administration of the New Zealand Army; District Troops the home defence and elementary training element; and the NZ. Division as the mobile striking force for employment within or outside New Zealand as the situation may demand.
Compulsory Military Training
Required to build and sustain the Army’s new structure, Compulsory Military Training (CMT) was the tool utilised to provide a sustainable military force. Instituted under the provisions of the Military Training Act 1949 and supported by a public referendum, CMT was an ambitious scheme designed to turn individual recruits into capable soldiers. CMT obliged eighteen-year-old males to undertake fourteen weeks of Initial training followed by a three-year commitment to serve in the Territorial Army with a six-year reserve commitment. The CMT experience began with fourteen weeks of recruit training conducted at Papakura, Waiouru, Linton and Burnham after which recruits would spend three years posted to a Territorial unit. Unlike previous peacetime compulsory military training schemes that have been a feature of New Zealand life since 1909, the 1949 system would include Ordnance units sustained by regular intakes of recruits.
Senior Ammunition Officers Conference
Over the period 21-24 June, the Director of Ordnance Services held the first conference of RNZAOC Senior Ammunition Officers.
Attending the Conference were;
Lieutenant Colonel A.H Andrews, DOS
Major F Reid, DADOS (1)
Major I.S Miller, CIOO
Captain J.G.R Morley, SIOO
Captain N.C Fisher, Tech Assistant
Captain E.C Green, DIOO Northern Military District
Captain G.H Perry, DIOO Central Military District
Captain R. P Kennedy, OC Central District Ammunition Depot
Captain E Hancock, DIOO Southern Military District
Captain W Ancell, OC Southern District Ammunition Depot
Major M.J Leighton, OC Main Ordnance Depot
Captain M.J Keeler, Main Ordnance Depot
Captain W Langevad RNZA, OC Army Ammunition Stores Depot
Item discussed at the conference included;
The Ammunition Organisation in New Zealand, including;
Shortages of Staff
DIOO Office and Staff
Provision of Staff
Control of Ammunition personnel
Promotion – Other Ranks
Issues between Depots
General turnout of Staff at Depots
Demonstration of the Cordite Heat Test
Army Ammunition Stores Depot
Inspection and Proof Section
District Ammunition Repair Depots
OC Ammunition Depots
Reports and Returns
General Ammunition Subjects, including
Advance information regarding dumping
Ammunition courses and refresher training
Conveyance of Government Explosives by road
Explosive Limits NMD
Ammunition Storage in Fiji
Increase of new Establishments
Trentham and Linton Magazines
Training of unit representatives
Visit to Army HQ Ammunition Accounts Section
The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot(MOD) at Army Headquarters over the period 8-10 March 1950.
Items discussed at the conference included;
Distribution of equipment for CMT between Districts and from the MOD to Districts,
Ordnance staff establishments,
Issue of Ammunition and explosives for CMY including priority of repair and alternatives,
Army estimates in relation to Ordnance
Submission of District concerns
Ammunition for Defence Rifle Clubs
Ordnance activities over the period
Over the period the RNZAOC conducted the following activities
A large quantity of general and technical stores, weapons, ammunition and many Vehicles were overhauled, inspected, repaired where necessary, and distributed from the main depots to camps and smaller depots. Careful organisation and selection of priorities contributed to a substantial overtaking of the arrears of work which had accumulated as a result of the post-war reduction in staff.
The RNZAF stores depot at Mangaroa was taken over by the Army, and the extra storage space provided enabled much equipment to be moved out of the Government storage area at Seaview, where 95,000 square feet (8825 square meters) was made available to other Government Departments.
The Inspecting Ordnance Officers Group concentrated on the preparation of ammunition and explosives required for Territorial recruit training. In addition, the disposal of unserviceable stores by burning or detonation continued when personnel were available for this task. The service proof of all small-arms ammunition stocks had been under effective action for nine months at the Proof Office, Mount Eden. This revealed a general decline in the condition of stocks. The annual inspection and proof of ammunition were undertaken, being the basis of all operations of the Group.
Disposal of surplus assets (general stores) continued. A total of seventy-eight vehicles were disposed of during the period under review.
The general maintenance and preservation of ordnance equipment had been curtailed to some extent by staff shortage, but it was anticipated that these arrears would be overtaken soon.
New Years and Birthday Honours List
His Excellency the Governor-General announced that the King was graciously pleased, on the occasion of the New Year and Birthday, to confer the following Honours on the following members of the RNZAOC: -Military Division:
Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Warrant Officer Class One William Sampson Valentine, RNZAOC, of Christchurch.
WO1 Valentine originally listed in 1915 and saw active service in Egypt, Gallipoli and France. After serving as a POW Repatriation Guard in 1919, Valentine enlisted into the Temporary Branch of the NZAOC at Featherston Camp. Transferring into the Permanent Staff of the NZAOC in 1924 and transferred to Burnham Camp. WO1 Valentine was transferred into the Civil Staff in 1931, remaining employed by the NZAOC at Burnham. Recalled to the colours in 1942, Valentine enlisted in the New Zealand Temporary Staff, remaining with the NZAOC at No 3 Ordnance Sub Depot, Burnham Camp. Transferred into the RNZAOC in 1947, WO1 Valentine was re-engaged into the NZ Regular Force in 1950. Retiring in 1954, WO1 Valentine Passed away in 1959.
Warrant Officer Class I Edward Coleman, RNZAOC.
Transfer of IOO personnel
As a result of the raising of a new establishment for the IOO Group and the recommendations of the Senior Ammunition Conference held in June 1949 , the system of having all members of the IOO Group on the strength of Army Headquarters was changes so that were posed to the unite in which they were employed in. Accordingly, with effect 10 October 1949 the following appointments were made;
Northern Military District
Captain K.C Green, Struck of Strength of Army HQ to HQ Northern Military District as District IOO located at the District HQ
Over a fifteen-year period from 1978 to 1992, the staff of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps School took over 180 photos of the school staff, courses, conferences and other activities, providing a unique record of the activities of the RNZAOC School. This article provides some background on the RNZAOC School, some examples of the RNZAOC photo collection and a link to the catalogue.
Upper Hutt City Library (29th Jan 2020). Trentham Camp; Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps School sign.. In Website Upper Hutt City Library. Retrieved 12th Jul 2020 01:51, from https://uhcl.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/1335
Established at Trentham in 1959 the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps School would be the most important unit of the RNZAOC, through which every Ordnance soldier would pass.
The RNZAOC school charter gave the school the responsibility of delivering the following types of courses for Regular and Territorial Force members of the RNZAOC;
Star Classification courses for Storeman/Clerks RNZAOC and Ammunition Examiners
Recruit Corps training for RNZAOC personnel
Advanced trade training for both Officers and Other Ranks in all types of Ordnance activities
Technical training in Ordnance subjects
Refresher training for qualified personnel
Additionally, as directed by the Director of Ordnance Services, the school would also;
Plan and hold conferences and training exercises
Draft procedure instructions
Test or comment on new procedures, materials or equipment’s
Carry out research into various aspects of Ordnance activities
The maintenance of Corps history and heritage
NZ Army Supply training underwent a major transformation in 1993 when the Quartermaster functions of the School of Army Administration became the “Q” Wing of the RNZAOC School.
Further changes occurred in July 1994 when the RNZAOC, RNZEME and RNZCT Schools were disestablished and the Trade Training School stood up in place of the individual Corps schools. As part of the transition into the Trade Training School, the RNZAOC School would be reestablished as the Supply/Quartermaster Wing and the Ammunition Wing.
Click on the following links to view the RNZAOC School photo collection;
The catalogue of these photos can be viewed here RNZAOC SCHOOL PHOTOS. If copies of individuals photos are required, please order by using the appropriate Reference Number from the catalogue.
RNZAOC School Staff 9 MAy 1979 Back Row L – R: LCpl Chamberlain, SSgt Blackburn, SSgt Warwood, Sgt Rogers Front Row L – R: WO1 Orr, Capt Bolton, Maj Hansen, Capt Crafts, WO2 Balsillis, WO2 Russell. Absent: Cpl Robinson, Cpl Bray. Robert McKie Collection.
RNZAOC RF OR Clerk/Storeman 5 March – 2 April 1980 Back Row L – R: LCpl Hassan, LCpl Clifton, WO2 Shahar (Malysian Army), SSgt Aziz (Malaysian Army) Front Row L – R: Pte Naicker (Fiji), Pte Naulutegu (Fiji), WO2 Calvey, Pte Russell, LCpl Rolfe, SSgt Reti Robert McKie Collection.
RNZAOC School Staff 12 July 1980 Back Row L – R: SSgt J.M Murray, Cpl W.T Bray, Sgt E.D Lee, Sgt W.D Scobie, SSgt W.R Bensemann, Sgt M.D Hutley, SSgt L.R Warwood Front Row L – R: LCpl W Bush, Capt J.S Bolton, Maj J.R Hicks (C.I), WO1 D.A Orr, WO2 B.W Calvey. Robert McKie Collection.
RNZAOC RF OR Senior Ammunition Technician Band 5 15 September – 20 October 1981 Back Row L – R: Cpl Boustridge, Cpl Evans, LCpl Thomas Front Row L – R: Cpl Lawrence, Capt Juno, WO2 Murray, Sgt Davidson. Robert McKie Collection.
RNZAOC Advanced Field Operations 10,0- 28 June 1991 Back Row L – R: WO2 D.T Lyes, WO2 J.P Fletcher QGM, WO2 P.J Roche, WO2 M.R Lawrence, WO2 M.T Heemi, WO2 Riesterer, WO2 S.N Sanders, WO2 B.C Kearney, WO2 M.L Smith, WO2 M.G Kiddie, WO2 J.W Thompson WO2 M.J Roberts Front Row L – R: WO2 W.N Vince, Capt W.T Steel, Lt B.T Grant, Capt H.B Cockburn (SI Supply), Maj D.H Watmuff (CI), WO2 W.F Davis, WO2 G.S Rolfe, Lt W.P Boustridge. Robert McKie Collection.
RNZAOC RF Supply Management Course 15 July – 2 August 1991 Back Row L – R: SSgt K.B Sigglekow, SSgt C.M Ballard, SSgt P.J Byrne, SSgt S.A Bruckner, SSgt S.W Corkran, SSgt N.T.A Merriman, SSgt W.D Epiha Front Row L – R: SSgt B.R.J Law, SSgt B.J Madgwick, Major D.H Watmuff (CI & Course Manager) Lt W.P Boustridge, Lt O.M Raureti. Robert McKie Collection.
RNZAOC Phase One Corps Training, 10 February -13 March 1992 Back Row L – R: Pte D.C Manson, Pte M.A Mckenzie, Pte A.P.M Newton, Pte K.M Craig, Pte A.J Henry, Pte G.J Cummings, Pte P.D McMillan, Pte M.A Hanson Front Row L – R: Pte N.J Fulcher, Pte O.M.A Moke, Pte A.M Ward, SSgt K.B Sigglekow (Course Manager), Pte P.A Cook, Pte M.M.J Te Ahu, Pte N Pohoiwi. Robert McKie Collection.
1] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 177.
Charter – Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps School, Trentham, Item Id R383324 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1960).