RNZAF Base Auckland is a Royal New Zealand Air Force base located near the upper reaches of the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand. The base formerly comprised two separate airfields, Whenuapai and Hobsonville. Hobsonville was established as a seaplane station in 1928 and was the RNZAF's primary flying boat base in New Zealand until 1967. Construction of Whenuapai as a base for Wellington bomber aircraft began in 1937, and from 1945-1965 Whenuapai was also Auckland's civil international airport. Post World War II Auckland became a centre for RNZAF transport and maritime squadrons. These two independent bases were integrated in 1965 to form RNZAF Base Auckland. Hobsonville subsequently became a grass airfield for No. 3 Squadron RNZAF which has now moved to Ohakea. A small army unit was closed down in 2003, and there was some controversy over its future intended use.[further explanation needed]
Whenuapai was expected to close as well, with the RNZAF being centralised at Ohakea. Infrastructure company Infratil and Waitakere local body leaders carried out feasibility studies to develop Whenuapai into a commercial airport if the RNZAF moved to Ohakea. In 2009 the government decided to retain the air force base at Whenuapai and implemented a reconstruction programme.
A member of the RNZAF Parachute Training and Support Unit trails the air force flag during the air show at Whenuapai in March 2009.
A significant reconstruction phase has begun at RNZAF Base Whenuapai since the start of 2011, major works have been carried out on the main runway, taxiways, and also the relocation of several units from RNZAF Base Hobsonville. Further development will ensure the RNZAF will remain at the present location. A significant government spending programme has been carried out to ensure the present base is brought up to standard.