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Model Aviation Northland Incorporated
Club History and Background
We are a group of like-minded aero modellers (many of us met and have known one another for several decades while enjoying Club flying activities on Comries farm at Matarau)
During 2012 after decades of generosity and goodwill extended to aero modellers from all over the country and many international guests John and Monica indicated to the Club using their property was coming to an end with the sale of their property.
It became clear that any future owner would be unlikely to entertain continued club flying activities as proposed subdivision and zoning changes heralded lifestyle urban sprawl into the area.
So our group decided to be proactive start a new club in 2013 and look for a new site, the focus of which is to create an environment in which family values and the more traditional skills associated with the hobby / sport of aero modelling are respected, fostered and encouraged.
Most in this group being builders with a wide range of skills who consider the outcome of the build, piloting ‘a flying model aircraft’ serves to capture their creativity and technical knowledge. Typical skills include design, engineering, woodcraft, electrical with an extensive knowledge of aerodynamics and the electronic equipment associated with radio control.
In the beginning our Club approached Paul and Helen Rockell with a request to fly model aircraft on their Rockelkaym Farm property at Gibbs road, Puhipuhi.
Their generosity and goodwill was subsequently extended to our members for the restricted use of their airfield used by the Whangarei District Gliding Club (Est. 1962) flying at Puhipuhi since 1992, for our model flying activities too.
An airstrip for model flying was developed on the Gliding airfield settling into a final position off to one side of the airfield after consideration for continuous gliding operations whilst operating models safely.
Sadly, circumstances changed for the Smith family and the farm was sold this time to an owner having no interest in allowing any Clubs continued use of the site.
After this setback a frantic site search began once more, to our great fortune Clare & Tony Davies-Colley came to our rescue in 2017 and generously allowed us to establish a new airfield on their land at Port Nikau.
But time marches on and knowing that the development of this area is increasing, to stretch out our base of operations we have recently re-orientated our runway direction to avoid encroaching on new building sites and activities in the near term.
There for we are once again the club was proactively looking to the future and long-term security for our club to continue operating in Northland before Port Nikau area becomes fully developed.
We were very fortunate to find our new site on the Paterson farm at Parakao which thankfully John and Christine Paterson have welcomed the club and we have developed a new air strip.
Our Club conducts its flying in accordance with MFNZ (Model Flying New Zealand) guidelines and CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) regulations pertaining to radio controlled aircraft operation.
Model Flying New Zealand is currently the governing body for “Model flying” throughout New Zealand and as such liaises with CAA the Royal New Zealand Aero Club (RNZAC) and also Federation Aeronautic International (FAI) on behalf of members involved in FAI competition classes and models requiring special certification to fly.
Our Club Model Aviation Northland inc is affiliated to MFNZ and it is a requirement that all our members are affiliated to MFNZ as well. As such Model Flying New Zealand (MFNZ) arranges insurance that provides indemnity for injury or property damage caused by an accidental occurrence in connection with the activities of the members of MFNZ whilst flying model aircraft. The limit of indemnity is $10,000,000 any one occurrence - and in respect of liability under the Forest and Rural Fires Act cover is $1 000,000.
Currently our membership is made up of senior, junior and family memberships. The club is incorporated and has elected a small group to organise and manage the interests of the club moving forward. We have active members flying turbine aircraft, turbine helicopter, 3D heli, and scale and competition aerobatic aircraft.