Featherston Camp was the largest of the New Zealand Army's training camps, and was in the North Island near Wairarapa, just north of Wellington.The other training camps were located at Trentham (near Christchurch), Awapuni (Palmerston North) and Narrow Neck (Auckland's North Shore). In the immediate years after the start of the war, the first soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force were trained at Trentham, but after 1915 troop reinforcements were trained at Trentham or at Featherston.
Infantrymen, cavalry, artillerymen and machine gunners were trained at the camp or at its two satelite camps nearby, and it could take up to 9000 trainees at a time. In total over 60,000 men were trained there before heading to Europe to fight. It was also used as a German POW camp and military hospital.
The buildings were demolished in 1926, but in the period directly after the war they were used for storage of ordinance. The camp closed in 1927, but during World War 2, the land was used as the site of a Japanese POW camp (from 1942 to 1945).