Mangorewa Tramp

L2R: CDT van den Eng, CDT Dhillon, SS Belt, SS Joseph, SQNLDR Peacock, CDT Downes. Front: CDT Reid

For some it was the first time, for others a re-visit after 29! years.  But 29SQN’s “standard tramp” from the 1990s has been introduced to a whole new generation.

Tramps can be enjoyed in a number of ways.  The planning, the recce, the tramp itself, and – of course – the afterglow through posts like these.

The weather was sub-optimal, but that didn’t stop these people:  How else are you going to have a mud-slide into a creek unless you have some mud? 

The planning team promises a slightly less technical tramp in a few months – one with less rain and more sun.  Well, we can only promise the former.

Thanks go to SQNLDR Peacock for his support, and the parents that helped with the shuttling at the trail head.  We can’t do these things without you.  Thank you for supporting No. 29 (Rotorua) Squadron ATC!

Click here to see the Galleries

Community support flows both ways


Thanks to Tremains Real Estate’s initiative to give back to the community, local Real Estate Super-star Aaron Coveney visited 29 Squadron to hand over a very big cheque!

Happy to take it off him were Unit Commander Flying Officer Poiheare Knight, and Unit Support Committee Chairperson, Mrs. Sharon Rehu.

When windfalls like these come to Rotorua’s finest Cadet unit, we don’t just pay the electricity bill with it.  Instead, all Cadets have been asked to come up with ideas for the best way they would like to see this generous donation used.

The donation even caught the attention of the Commandant of the New Zealand Cadet Forces, CDR Andrew Law, RNZN, who sent his personal thanks to Aaron via Instagram.

Mr. Coveney has two daughters at 29 Squadron, and before leaving he told us another $500 cheque could be on the way … as soon as he could close on another property he represents via Tremains Real Estate in Rotorua.

At 29 Squadron, we’re sold!

UPDATE:  No. 29 (Rotorua) Squadron has invested it’s first $500 from Tremains Real Estate Rotorua in twelve Two-Way radios.

And as Mr Aaron Coveny dropped by with Hot Cross buns for every 29 Squadron Family, he also had another $500 donation cheque to hand over.

Unit Commander Flying Officer Poihaere Knight had the pleasure of accepting the donation from Mr. Aaron Coveney on behalf of our Squadron, while SS Pete Belt showed Mr. Coveney some of the Two-way radios purchased using the first donation.

On behalf of the Unit Support Committee and No. 29 Squadron Air Training Corp, we thank Tremains and Aaron for an awesome way to support the Rotorua Community.

They can take pleasure in the fact the radios will keep our cadets safe as well as trained in proper radio procedures.

International Women’s Day 2021


Today is International Women’s Day for 2021, and it is a good opportunity to celebrate No. 29 (Rotorua) Squadron Air Training Corps and the New Zealand Cadet Force in general.

The NZCF has welcomed female cadets as fully participating members for the last 50 years… that’s well before most other boys- or men-only organisations followed suit.

When it comes to 29 Squadron, it is currently led by two female cadets: Flight Sergeant McKenzie Swinburne and Sergeant Emily Coveney.

Our Adjutants are Ms Nat Swinburne and Miss Precious Morgan, and the USC Chairperson is Mrs Sharon Rehu.

They all report to our Unit Commander, Flying Officer Poihaere Knight.

FGOFF Knight in turn reports to our Area Support Officer, Squadron Leader Heidi Paignton.

At 29 Squadron, we don’t have to pay lip-service to placing and promoting capable women in positions of responsibility.  

As a youth leadership training organisation, when it comes to supporting capable women in responsible roles, We walk the talk.



Kia ora:  As per the announcement made by government at 1615 hrs Fri 05 Mar 21, Rotorua has returned to Covid-19 Level 1 starting at 0600 hrs Sunday 07 Mar 21.  

Tena koutou katoa


To all Officers, Staff, Cadets, Parents, Caregivers, USC members, and visitors:

29 Squadron will parade on Wednesday nights with the restrictions and procedures outlined below.  All other operations, activities, exercises, and fundraisers are suspended until further notice.
  • If your child feels unwell for any reason, please keep them home.  Cadets must apply for medical leave online here or by contacting the ADJ
  • If you or your child are in any way uncertain or concerned, please consider contacting Unit Commander FGOFF Poihaere Knight for more information.
  • Wearing masks is not mandatory. Officers, staff and other cadets may not wear masks.  However, anyone who wishes to wear a mask is encouraged to do so.
  • Everyone has been encouraged to have the COVID-19 Tracer App on their phones.  Please scan the Tracer App QR Code displayed on the unit door before you enter.  If you can not scan with the App, please sign the manual register by the door.
  • All personnel is to enter and leave through the main hall door only.
  • We will return to Social Distancing.  Practically that means we keep 2 meters apart in any space.  In classrooms there will be a limit of one person per desk
  • SS Joseph will introduce social distancing during parade. This will provide an exciting extra challenge.
  • Between sessions, cadets will clean their own desk surface with provided disinfectant.
  • Instructing staff (of any rank – or no rank at all) will wipe down what they have touched as well as common areas such as light switches and door knobs.
  • Toilets will be wiped down hourly.  People using the toilet are encouraged to wipe down any surface they have been in contact with before returning, and then wash hands.
  • Cadets that clear out all the rubbish bins at the end of the night should immediately use hand sanitiser afterwards
  • Officers and Staff are encouraged to use other offices to follow social distancing requirements by spreading out
All the above aside, and as you know from previous experience, it’s business as usual.
In the word’s of FGOFF Knight:  
“We can do anything that we set our minds to. See you on Wednesday!  Noho Ora mai”

2021 Term 1 working bee


The weekend before the first Parade Night of 2021 is a good time to have a stock-take and a good clean and maintenance session – otherwise called a Working Bee.

29 Squadron is thankful to its families for their support, and the parents, supporters, and cadets for the hard work.

Hundreds of kilos of scrap metal was taken to Macaulay Metals (good for the USC bank account), and a large 6 meter skip was filled to the brim.

At the same time, graffiti was dealt to, the shower and toilets painted, rooms cleared out, spent light bulbs replaced, old computer gear retired, the exterior cleaned and its front skirt painted, the gutter cleaned, all the weeds in the driveway removed, Stores emptied – then sorted – then put back logically…  and that’s just part of what was achieved.

Cadets were also grateful for the lunch put on by the USC. Sated and re-energised, they returned to push on for the rest of the afternoon.

The progress is clearly visible, and when the full Squadron meets this Wednesday, they’ll be able to get right to work.

Hey! We were just thinking of you!


If you are 13+ or a parent/caregiver, then you have a lot of choices as to where to spend your valuable “spare” time.

So let’s tell you why 29 SQUADRON is your best choice this year:

  • Rotorua’s 29 Squadron is celebrating its 80th year this year.  We know what we’re doing.
  • We are very well staffed.  Right now, two officers, four Supplementary Staff, and seven Non Commissioned Officers teach and lead a growing group of cadets.  2021’s objective is “Growth through a packed Activity programme”.
  • Growth: 29 Squadron is projected to have six Officers by the end of the year
  • We have a licensed pilot on staff.  That means we will go flying again; including night flying.
  • One camp and two tramps are already planned for the first two terms.  The new camp site is a private bush location and will take your breath away.
  • NZQA and Duke of Edinborough qualification training starts again, and 29 Squadron work will count towards real-world credits and qualifications.  Want it?  Come get it.
  • We look forward to our service on Anzac Day for 2021.   And later in the year, the Battle of Britain commemorations and Armistice Day are similar highlights on our calendar.

Rotorua Air Cadets is a civilian youth leadership training organisation.  Families and alumni all say that time spent in Cadets has helped kids get jobs.  Their discipline, punctuality, politeness, leadership, and positive attitude stands out every time.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Standing: FGOFF Knight; Seated from left: LAC Sands, SGT Swinburne, CPL Belt, CPL Coveney, CDT Evans, LAC Morley, LAC Joy, SS Swinburne, SS Joseph, SS Morgan. Behind camera: PLTOFF Peacock, SS Belt

Before the first parade night of 2021, all officers, staff, and NCOs got together for a strategy meeting.

In front of them:  2021’s Strategic Plan, 2021 Training Program, updated Unit Standing Orders, and the opportunity to listen to FGOFF Knight and Training Officer Joseph outline the expectations for 2021.

NCOs were also told that FGOFF Knight, Mr Knight (USC Treasurer), Training Officer Joseph, and SS Belt visited a brand new camp site for 29 SQN’s exclusive use.  It has native bush, a hut, 1000 year old bore water at two degrees, and views to come back for.  The first camp (29 Below – Bushcraft) is ready to go later this term.

But before cadets even start on the first Wednesday of the first school term (Feb 3rd, 6:15 pm, 23 Geddes Rd), 29 Squadron is meeting on the weekend prior to get rid of graffiti, weeds, and old and non-serviceable gear from stores.

29 Squadron:  We fly stuff, shoot stuff, and do stuff.  Come see what it’s all about and  join us in a year that’s guaranteed to stand out as one of our best in recent history.FGOFF 

Welcome back


We hope you had a great end to 2020 and are looking forward to a somewhat normal 2021. Some of us here haven’t had much time off as a huge amount of planning has gone into this year already.  For 29 Squadron, 2021 marks it’s 80th year of operation, so that will be suitably observed.  2021 also will be the year when we switch to new uniforms. 

Everything going to plan, during this year will see 29 Squadron parade with five commissioned Officers. As every activity needs at least one present, the previous bottleneck will be removed as the year progresses.  Get ready for more activities to be available as Officers come on board. 

The Senior team are hard at work to get our first Camp in the record books:  29 Below will happen during Term 1.  As a result, an emphasis on Bush craft will be part of the Term 1 training plan.

Keep an eye on the usual communication channels: this site, Facebook, and your Syndicate leaders.  

Hope to see you all soon!

Have you been keeping an eye on Air Cadets last year thinking this may be a great way for you (or your child) to build new skills while having lots of fun?  Then you are invited to come along and check us out.  Our contact details are on the contact page and Facebook.  The start of a year is most certainly the best time to get involved!