Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 10. July 15, 1954
Pay was the major complaint of the students. "Take-home" pay, depending on age, is between £11 and £12 a fortnight. This might at first sight appear to be meagre payment; but when one considers the standard of living quarters and daily rations, the fact_ that many thousands of pounds are spent to train a pilot while he himself gets paid when training the "take-home" is by no means niggardly. But one can sympathies with them to a degree. During vacations their friends have worked in factories, on the wharves or in other Jobs and on return to university doubtless quote £16 or £17 as their reward for a week's work. On the other hand the university student who becomes an R.N.Z.A.K. pilot has flown about 200 hours while training for his "wings" and once graduated, he continues to serve with a territorial squadron at a much higher wage rate. In other words he has gained a most useful qualification.
There were some other minor complaints: but I'm sure that the students will put them in their proper perspective in years to come. In case the reader may think that I am looking at the scheme through biased eyes, I would suggest that he seeks the views of a student who has completed the course. For the record book here are the names of the first pilots to graduate under this scheme from V.U.C.: P. B. Ward law and R. A. N. Manthel.
University students also have their own navigator training scheme. Like the pilot scheme, students are selected from the January C.M.T. intake and training is carried out at vacation periods over two years. This scheme would especially suit students who, after graduation, intend to live in the Auckland district. They would be trained for service in No. 6 (Maritime) Squadron which, equipped with Sunderland flying-boats, is based at Hobsonville some 20 miles from Auckland city. Incidentally, this squadron is thought to be the only territorial flying-boat squadron in the world. Navigators are subject to the same conditions of service as pilots.
In peace the R.N.Z.A.F. is striving to become an efficient nucleus on which a wartime force could be readily trained and expanded. Because, for economic reasons, the peace-time R.N.Z.A.F. cannot be a large force, much of its support is consent rated on the territorial squadrons which would be mobilised soon after the outbreak of a war The R.N.Z.A.F. wants only the best pilots and navigators for these squadrons; it is confident that a large proportion of New Zealand university students like those from the English universities in the Second World War, would be among "the few" if and when the occasion arises.