The airfield at Ōhakea, established in 1939, has become one of the principal airfields for the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Laid out on flat land 30 km north-west of Palmerston North, on the left (south or east) bank of the Rangitīkei River, it is well sited for air exercises. In 1995, overspending on renovations to the base commander’s house caused a political storm.

Meaning of place name
Ōha: to repeat incantations; kea: false, or a lie. To make a mistake in repeating an incantation would nullify its effect and might have serious consequences.