The Government is to spend $24 million upgrading the Whenuapai Air Base in Auckland.

The main runway and taxiways will be upgraded, storm water drainage improved and new lighting will be installed.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says it ensures there is a runway that will last at least another 40 years.

He says the runway was built shortly before World War Two and now constantly needs repair.

Work will begin this month with the project expected to be completed in May next year.