Gurkha soldiers in Tekapo for training

Soldiers from a Gurkha regiment have invaded the Tekapo military camp for training they cannot get at their home base.

More than 160 soldiers and support elements from 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles (1RGR) have arrived in the South Island for

Pacific Kukri 2014, a biennial military exercise hosted by the New Zealand Army.

The main body of personnel from 1RGR arrived at Christchurch airport last week and are now training at Tekapo.

The exercise is focused on live firing and will take place in the Tekapo Military Training Area until May 8.

''The exercise is another example of the close defence relations we enjoy with New Zealand,'' United Kingdom defence adviser Lieutenant-colonel Tim Woodman said.

The terrain and weather the soldiers would be exercising in were vastly different from their base in Brunei.

''Being exposed to different conditions and methodologies will help when we are required to work together in conflict prevention or humanitarian aid situations,'' he said.

The soldiers will leave New Zealand on May 17.