About Us - NZ Warbirds

About Us

dedicated to restoration, preservation and operation

In New Zealand, as in many countries the world over, service aircraft have been the introduction to flying and aviation for thousands of young men and women. Many such pilots have gone on to establish careers in civilian flying long after their military service so, in many ways, these aircraft form the very backbone of our country’s aviation history.

About Us - NZ Warbirds

Group of pilots gathered beside a line-up of Corsairs at RNZAF Station, Ardmore. RNZAF Official

NZ Warbirds was originally conceived by the late Trevor Bland who in June 1978 organised a meeting of interested parties with a common goal to establish an association to restore, fly and enjoy aircraft of an historic nature with a connection to the Royal New Zealand Air Force.  The newly formed association boasted two aircraft at the time, a Chipmunk and an Auster but soon to follow was the addition of the first kiwi warbird, a wartime RNZAF Harvard trainer NZ1092 (ZK-WAR).

About Us - NZ Warbirds

Our associations first warbird, ex RNZAF T6 Harvard NZ1092 (ZK-WAR), still flies under the NZ Warbirds banner. Here it can be seen (foreground) flying with a Supermarine Spitfire and a Curtis P-40 Kittyhawk (background) which also are part of the association.

From our humble beginnings forty years ago, we now have a membership close to 600 with a mixture of active pilots and aviation enthusiasts all with a desire to see these aircraft fly for generations.  Although our organisation was started to preserve ex-RNZAF aircraft, this has been expanded to include any type due to the successful introduction of service aircraft from all over the world including Russian, German and Chinese types. British and American aircraft never seen in service here also figure prominently!

About Us - NZ Warbirds

Former RNZAF A-4K Skyhawk NZ6209 on the flight line at Ohakea. “09” is one of many service aircraft that is preserved by the association.

The Association does not aim to glorify war.  Its objective is to provide the wide range of skills and support necessary to see these grand old military and historic aircraft preserved in flying condition.  Our NZ Warbirds at Ardmore collection at Ardmore Airport provides an educational resource unrivalled in the warbird sphere.  Not only does it house former Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) aircraft, it also has an aviation library complex and comprehensive squadron history displays.

About Us - NZ Warbirds

NZ Warbirds patron and founding president the late Trevor Bland AFC, MNZM (left) talking with aviation legend General Chuck Yeager


NZ Warbirds is in active contact with like-minded organisations nation-wide and represents the interests of the warbird movement on aviation consultancy groups within New Zealand.  We work closely with the organisers of world class events and significant commemorative occasions such as:

Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Art Deco Festival – Napier

Classic Fighters – Blenheim

Classic Flyers – Tauranga

Royal New Zealand Air Force


Warbirds Over Wanaka – Wanaka

Wings over Wairarapa – Masterton

Our Team

Frank Parker
Vice President
John Kelly
General Manager/Secretary
Trish Reynolds
Rowan Dixon
Operations Manager
Mark Helliwell
Chief Flying Instructor (CFI)
Dave Brown
Deputy CFI
Dean Beverley
Safety Manager
Phillip Stott
Maintenance Controller
Milton Donovan
Public Relations
Trish Reynolds
Committee MembersAce Edwards, Alan Purdy, Ben Shaw, Brett Nicholls, Chris Tennent-Brown, Colin Goult, Greg Morris, Leanne Butler, Liz Needham, Paul Liddington, Rob Silich
About Us - NZ Warbirds

Frank Parker is the current president of the NZ Warbirds Association. He flies a number of aircraft types including our Kittyhawk, Mustang and Harvards as well as the expanding WW1 fleet.

  • What a birthday gift from my family. A stunning flight and my wife said my smile after climbing (clambering) out of the cockpit was to be seen. Gary my pilot was totally professional and made it all so enjoyable.

    Malcolm G June 2019

  • Wow, thats an amzing day full of discovery and nature. Loved the cruise! You guys rock.

    Mike McVey Gisborne NZ

  • Lovely cafe with a great view of all the planes taking off. The museum guides are super friendly and my son absolutely loves coming here. Highly recommended.

    Dianechen10 February 2020

  • Fantastic opportunity to get up close to some of the icons of New Zealand’s aviation history - with the majority being flyable examples. Knowable guides to fill in any gaps in your own knowledge. Topped off by an amazing scale model collection.

    MarkR986 October 2020

  • Interesting guided visit around the War Birds Facility, get up close to the war planes. Beautiful display. Would suggest combine with a visit to the Auckland Botanical Gardens. A Great Auckland Day Out.

    Sandra S February 2020

  • On the Ardmore Airport (the busiest airport in the southern hemisphere) are two hangers of war planes. I have lived nearby for years and the planes often fly over my house but I have never before visited the exhibition. They have a Spitfire, a P45 Mustang, a Skyhawk and many many more aircraft. Almost all of them still fly. I was fascinated by the pre-WWII planes. The beauty of the engineering is fascinating and there are not many places you can get so close to the planes. You can also pay to have a flight in many of he planes. That is something I am planning for later in the year. The staff were all very helpful and knowledgeable. I will be taking all my visitors there in future.

    Howard A January 2020


WE ARE LOOKING FOR MORE FANTASTIC VOLUNTEERS TO JOIN OUR TEAM - to help us run and host visitors through our WW1 and WW2 hangars at NZ Warbirds at Ardmore 👍 NO aviation experience required just a love of Warbird aircraft and meeting great people 👍✈ - we do all your training. We need people who are excited to help one or two days a month - we're normally open Sat, Sun & Wed 10:30am - 3:00pm. We ask for volunteers to volunteer one day a month, rostered in advance. You must be over 16 years old. Duties can include, with two other volunteers: * Setting up and opening our hangars * Welcoming visitors and taking admittance fees * Showing people around and showcase our hangars WW1 & WW2 fabulous collection * Sometimes helping in our merch shop * Meet and talk with like minded people * Close up at the end of the day. * Help out at our shows and events * If you'd like to help us as a ground crew member helping with our beautiful aircraft, we will freely provide additional training We provide free first aid and fire & evacuation training. Join us as a volunteer member, you can enter our hangars free of charge, meet on a Sunday evening in our club bar, 10% of all merch. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH - ITS GREAT FUN and WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU 👍 Please contact Trish - manager@nzwarbirds.org.nz
Something new has arrived in our WW1 Hangar. The Canberra team have been hard at work on WT436s fuselage with final touch ups being applied including the silver fern to the roundels. Today she was relocated to a temporary new home in the WW1 hangar until a more permanent location is organised in the main hangar. Watch this space. #canberra #restoration #nzwarbirds #warbird #avgeek #roundel #silverfern #rnzaf #onlyatardmore
P40E ZK-MOM 1st test flight - a real stunner👍 #P40 #Kittyhawk #p40kittyhawk #Allison #curtis #pioneeraero #nzwarbirdsatardmore #wherewarbirdsfly #ardmoreairport #warbird #Avgeek #Aviation #aviator #nz #onlyinnz #auckland #restoration #heritage
🐎 Our resident NA P-51D Mustang (ZK-TAF) taxing in after a successful adventure flight from a few years ago. 📷 @stu_65 📍 Ardmore Airport #warbird #Avgeek #keepemflying #NZWarbirdsAtArdmore #nzmustdo #mustang #p51 #p51mustang #Adventure #Aviation #aviator #nz #auckland #OnlyAtArdmore
Jet blast from the past...🚀 Ex RNZAF Strikemaster NZ6370 with DH.115 Vampire T.55 ZK-RVM at Wings over Wairarapa several years ago. #jet #strikemaster#vampire #formation #Aviation #Avgeek #aviator #warbird #KeepEmFlying #onlyinnz #nzwarbirds #nz #dh115 #dh100
No filter! A repeat, but worth repeating. Taken just after landing and still hot 🔥 #v12 #supermarinespitfire #adventureflightsnz #nzwarbirdsatardmore #wherewarbirdsfly #ardmoreairport #keepemflying
POSTPONEMENT OF NZ WARBIRDS ON PARADE COMMEMORATING THE ANNIVERSARY PEARL HARBOR - 5TH DECEMBER 2021 Sadly due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 Levels, the size of gatherings, the unknown as yet government restrictions and requirements around event management, we have sadly made the decision to postpone our forthcoming NZ Warbirds on Parade commemoration show on Sunday 5th December 2021. NZ Warbirds Association is a charitable not-for-profit organisation and produces these events to raise money to help keep us operating and our aircraft flying. Cancelling an event at the last minute incurs a large loss of our existing funds having had to pre-pay many suppliers along with the cost of certification and regulatory commitments – so a last minute cancellation or postponement is just not something the association can afford to do. We know this will be as disappointing for you, as it is for us, however we are still planning to hold this event in the new year sometime, so please keep an eye out on our website and social media platforms for updates. The good news is our team are planning smaller scale events like our successful Tarmac Days and Hangar Talks which more easily put together, cost a lot less to produce and can easily be postponed if we need to. Thanks for your support and we can’t wait to safely open our doors again and welcome you in to our hangars. Trish Reynolds General Manager NZ Warbirds Association Inc
Harvard 57 being put through her paces on an adventure flight earlier this year ✈️ #nzmustdo #aviation #gopro #warbirds #adventure #avgeek
NZ Warbirds at Ardmore is open SUNDAYS only. Find everything you need to know about visiting here.
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