Author(s): Richard Waugh & Graeme McConnell
Aviation's influenece on Nelson has been profound. With challenging road access, no rail link and the barrier of Cook Strait, Nelson had the reputation of being a 'sleepy hollow'. It was isolated and in some way still is, yet has never been the same since the first aircraft visit in 1921. After aero club beginnings, a pioneering scheduled airline was established at the Stoke Airfield in 1935. The opening of Nelson's new airport at Tahunanui in 1938, close to the city centre, was a key milestone for the region's social, economic and tourism future. The airport led to a wartime air force station and a growing post-war airline scene. It became the main commercial aviation centre for the upper South Island, including helicopter work. Illustrated by many rare photographs, this book tells the story of Nelson aviation - its aircraft, personalities, innovations and events - and how it helped develop the whole sunny province. Nelson Airport serves more than 750,000 passengers annually, is the hub for the country's largest regional airline and is the fourth busiest airport for scheduled flights in New Zealand.
Richard Waugh’s father helped pioneer the first Christchurch to Nelson air service in the 1950s, following WWII service. Richard attended Nayland College and after several years working in the Nelson motor industry candidated for ordained ministry and for the past 30 years has served in North Island churches. He is a well-known evangelical church leader involved in many aspects of national church life and is the long-serving denominational leader of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand. He is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary (USA), Massey University, Trinity/St Johns Theological College and the University of Auckland. Over the past 25 years he has become a prominent airline historian having co-authored or authored 12 aviation books and organised many aviation events around New Zealand, including several in Nelson. He continues to serve as chaplain to the Air Pilots Guild and in 2013 was presented with their Master’s Award to the New Zealand Region in recognition of his chaplaincy and aviation historical work. In 2007 he was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to aviation history and the community, and in 2012 was the Howick Local Board’s Citizen of the Year. Rev. Dr Waugh lives in Howick, Auckland, and is married with three young adult children.