Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base

The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base. 

Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure.

He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems.

"This spending is required to rectify longstanding problems with Base Ōhakea's supporting infrastructure and ensure the base can continue to function," Mr Mark said.

Last year, the Defence Minister announced an ambitious plan to upgrade the Defence estate. That planned $2.1 billion spend is part of a $20 billion overhaul of old Defence Force infrastructure, platforms and buildings over the coming decades.

"A large proportion of the Defence Estate was built over 70 years ago, during World War II," Mr Mark said.

"Almost 80 percent of the Defence Estate is reaching the end of its remaining useful life, and must be replaced in the next 30 years," he added.

Ōhakea base will be home to four new P8 Poseidon planes from 2023 and number five squadron will shift from Whenuapai to Ōhakea to fly them.

As well as the P8s, the Coalition Government has also agreed to replace the ageing C130 Hercules fleet with newer versions.

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