With buildings and equipment in need of repair and trouble recruiting and retaining staff the Defence Force will welcome a $52 million boost next year.

The increased funding - a total of $309m over four years - will help the Defence Force "meet its operational challenges", Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said.

"A modern, well-equipped defence sector is vital for keeping New Zealand secure and for promoting peace and security in our region and further afield."

Today's budget also provided $1m for the Defence White Paper.

The White Paper was expected to be released on March 30 next year.

The review, the first since a major inquiry by the Defence and Trade select committee in 1999, will take a broad look at all issues affecting the Defence Force.

The $52m will fund:

* Restoring and improving infrastructure ($15m)

* Increased aircraft activity and maintenance ($10m)

* Operation and maintenance of new navy ships ($5m)

* Improved soldier protection ($2m)

* Improved intelligence capability ($1m)

* Improved recruitment and retention ($13m)

* Other initiatives ($6m)

- NZPA