16 August, 2022
Manawatū District Council, the Defence Force, the Ministry for the Environment, Horizons Regional Council and iwi Ngāti Parewahawaha all co-operated to fund and develop the community water scheme which will serve RNZAF Base Ohakea and more than 90 local households and farms.
The NZDF contributed $5 million towards the water scheme and as the largest customer of the water scheme RNZAF Base Ohakea will also cover a large proportion of its operational costs.
“We are very appreciative that Defence Force personnel will have access to the water flowing from the new bore, as well as the local community,” said Ohakea Base Commander, Group Captain Robert Shearer.
At Base Ohakea, $250m worth of work is being carried out upgrading the base, including complex hangars for the arrival of the new Boeing P-8A Poseidon surveillance and maritime patrol aircraft.
Nearly 1000 people work at Base Ohakea and when No. 5 Squadron shifts from Whenuapai to operate the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s new Boeing P-8As, that will increase to 1200 by 2023 – providing a boost to local businesses, sports teams and community groups.
“RNZAF Base Ohakea is an important part of Manawatū infrastructure and also the Defence Estate. With the expansions at the Base, the new water scheme will be welcome, as well as reinforcing our commitment to being good neighbours,” Group Captain Shearer said.