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Royal New Zealand Air Force



Up to the outbreak of war the RNZAF Stores Depot had been located at Hobsonville. To a lesser degree Wigram also acted as a depot. The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan necessitated a large expansion of the stores organisation. The depot at Hobsonville could not be expanded to meet the growing requirements of the service and, moreover, there were disadvantages in having a main stores depot in the far north in a vulnerable area and isolated from rail communications. An unnecessary amount of transport was involved in issuing stores from the depot to the existing RNZAF stations, and also, in the case of equipment manufactured in New Zealand, in moving it from the factory to the depot. In 1940, when the New Zealand centennial exhibition buildings at Rongotai became vacant, they were converted into an Air Force Stores Depot and No. 2 Stores Depot formed there officially in June.

The two depots were considered adequate until Japan entered the war, and then it was recognised that as both depots were vulnerable to attack some dispersal of stocks was essential. Additional storage space was obtained in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch and used for the dispersal of equipment. No. 1 Stores Depot at Hobsonville, moreover, was moved completely to Hamilton, where page 121 it was less liable to attack. It was accommodated for some months in the Winter Show Buildings there, but in August a new site had to be found as its premises were required for No. 1 Repair Depot, which was transferred from Hobsonville to Hamilton and Rukuhia. A new site had also to be found for a depot which was to be constructed for the American forces. Eventually two sites were chosen at Te Rapa and Te Awamutu. The American forces rejected the depot which was being built for them at Te Awamutu, and No. 4 Stores Depot RNZAF was formed there in November.

No. 3 Stores Depot was formed in Christchurch, using buildings in and around the city. Later it moved to Weedons, 11 miles out of the town.

No. 2 Depot was later moved from the Exhibition Buildings at Rongotai to Mangaroa, where it remained until it was closed down several years after the war ended.