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Royal New Zealand Air Force



Besides the radar warning system, an Observer Corps was formed in 1942 to report movements of aircraft. Various authorities— Navy, Army, Harbour Boards, and the Marine Department—had established watching posts at points round the coast, primarily to report shipping. These were incorporated—and other posts were established throughout the country—to form a comprehensive aircraft reporting system. The organisation, which was administered by the Air Force, consisted of Observer Posts, each manned by six or more people, connected by telephone with Observer Centres page 118 which, in turn, were connected with one of the Combined Group Headquarters in Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch

The system was never completely developed. The main source of manpower was the Home Guard, and it could not supply enough to man the 300 posts which would have been necessary to cover the whole country. A further difficulty was the provision of adequate telephone lines. Had the war not receded from New Zealand in 1942, doubtless the shortages would have been overcome. As it was, the Corps operated during that and the following year on a limited basis. Its value was fully appreciated, but there were too many other claims on manpower, equipment, and accommodation. It did, however, give good observer cover over all vital areas until it was finally disbanded early in 1944.