Accolades for volunteer

16:00, Dec 18 2012
Richard Waugh
SOARING SERVICE: Richard Waugh stands in front of the Electra plane his father flew at the Museum of Transport and Technology. The minister spends much of his time researching and documenting New Zealand’s aviation history and is being honoured for this as well as a wealth of other community service.

A church minister, aviation historian and prolific volunteer is receiving more well-deserved recognition.

Richard Waugh, 55, of Highland Park, is one of three people from East Auckland honoured with a Kiwibank Local Hero Award this month.

Dr Waugh is senior minister of East City Wesleyan Church in Botany and in 2010 completed his doctorate in theology.

He is also a prominent New Zealand aviation historian who has written 11 books, all published by a charitable trust with proceeds going to support aviation research and education.

"I'm involved in a wide spectrum of community work, most of it voluntary, and I think that's probably why the recognition was given," he says.

This year his outstanding voluntary efforts were recognised with the Howick Local Board's inaugural Citizen of the Year Award.


Dr Waugh is working on a comprehensive history of Nelson aviation for the 75th anniversary of Nelson Airport next year.

Another of his books on the 1963 Auckland to Tauranga Kaimai Range DC-3 air crash is the basis of a TV documentary to be broadcast next year.

Over the past 18 years he has initiated and organised numerous aviation public events.

From 1994 to 2011 he led a large voluntary project to erect permanent memorials for 73 New Zealanders killed in nine airliner accidents from the 1930s to 1960s.

He was deputy chairman of the Pakuranga Community Board from 1998 to 2004.

In 2009 he helped organise a public meeting to form the Burswood Residents Association, representing 550 houses.

Dr Waugh served as a trustee of the Howick 150th celebrations in 1997 and started the biennial Combined Churches Floral and Arts Festival the same year.

He was part of a team which established the Trinity Early Childhood Centre in 2000, and he helped establish The LifeGrowth Community Trust, one of the Botany community's first charitable trusts.

Dr Waugh is the only aviation chaplain in New Zealand and has been involved in events such as anniversary services for the 1979 Erebus aircraft disaster.

He was the founding chairman of the Howick-Pakuranga Ministers Association in 1997.

Since then he has often led the prayers and readings at Howick Anzac Day services.

Every year since 1996 he has organised and led the annual Combined Churches Easter Day Sunrise Service for east Auckland on Stockade Hill in Howick.

Since 2009 he has been chairman of the Auckland Church Leaders Meeting, and this year he was elected chairman of the biannual National Church Leaders Meeting in Wellington.

Eastern Courier