Specialists in research and writing about early New Zealand airlines.


Who are we?

RICHARD WAUGH is an historian and voluntary organiser of aviation events. His late father, Brian Waugh, was a prominent pilot for several of the pioneering small airlines of New Zealand in the post-war years. Richard was born in Christchurch during the days of Trans Island Airways, grew up in Hokitika through the era of West Coast Airways (and flew on the airline's last flight), and lived in Queenstown during Tourist Air Travel's operations.
He is a social historian who brings a new people dimension to the recording of New Zealand aviation history. He has a BA degree in NZ history from Massey University, theological qualifications from the Joint Board of Theological Studies, an MBA management degree from the University of Auckland and Doctor of Ministry degree from Asbury Theological Seminary; is a longtime member of the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand and is Chaplain to The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (NZ Region). In 2007 he was awarded the QSM in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for “services to aviation history and the community.”
Rev Dr Waugh serves as Senior Minister of East City Wesleyan Church in Auckland (www.ecw.org.nz) and National Superintendent of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand (www.wesleyan.org.nz).

PETER LAYNE has covered aviation news for many years and has been a member of the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand since 1970. He has a family background in aviation and while growing up during the late 1950s and 1960s, enthusiastically observed the aviation scene in Auckland and met many of those involved. His father, Brian Layne, had an aviation career extending back to 1935 with the Waikato branch of the Auckland Aero Club at Te Rapa. Following wartime service he joined National Airways in 1947, and fulfilled various roles until retiring in 1978, when the airline merged with Air New Zealand.
Peter has had a long career with Westpac Bank, and following a two year break joined Kiwibank in 2002. During this interval he did an assignment in the Safety Investigation Unit of the Civil Aviation Authority, and with Richard Waugh, wrote the SPANZ book. In both banking institutions he has specialised in research type roles akin to his aviation history interest.
He accumulated over 180 hours flying gliders and has for many years been the historian for Gliding New Zealand Inc. Peter also collates the Vintage, Veteran and Classic section of the annual New Zealand Wings Directory.

GRAEME MCCONNELL is a longtime Nelson resident and keen aviation history enthusiast with a particular interest in Nelson aviation history, his father having learnt to fly at the old Stoke Airfield in 1937. He has been a member of the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand for 50 years and in 1995 co-authored Strait Across - The Pioneering Story of Cook Strait Aviation. He has also written many articles on aviation topics, been involved with most of the aviation history books from the Waugh stable, and in 2000 was the co-editor of Arthur Bradshaw's memoirs, Flying by Bradshaw.
Now semi-retired, Graeme was for 38 years a survey draughtsman and land information officer. Over the years he has volunteered his draughting and research skills on a number of aviation history projects. This has included layout and graphic design expertise, resulting in the placement of 18 permanent plaques throughout New Zealand, commemorating various historic aviation events.

BRUCE GAVIN has had a lifetime interest in the aviation scene in New Zealand since first seeing, as a small boy, a yellow Tiger Moth flying from a completely bare Matamata Aerodrome in the late 1940s. Trained as a school teacher at Ardmore Teachers Training College in the late 1950s, he served in various roles from Probationary Assistant to Principal; living and working at schools in the Waikato (around Matamata), the Bay of Plenty, Golden Bay and Feilding for over 40 years.
Bruce gained a Bachelor of Education degree through Massey University, mainly through extra mural study (and the support of wife, Patricia, and a growing family). He has been a member of the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand for almost 40 years, an active collector of airline information and also photographer of the ever changing aviation scene in New Zealand. Bruce has often contributed to the Society's Journals with articles on the history of New Zealand's small airlines.

click to enlarge
Aviation historians from left; Graeme McConnell (seating), Richard Waugh, Peter Layne (seating) and Bruce Gavin, by former Trans Island Airways' Lockheed 10 Electra ZK-BUT at Auckland's Museum of Transport & Technology.
(Deborah Powick)

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