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Reaching for the Skies - An End to Isolation

Television (Full Length) – 1990

Made for the 50th anniversary of Air New Zealand, Reaching for the Skies takes a journey through New Zealand’s aviation history — from claims that Richard Pearse flew before the Wright brothers and early attempts at Trans-Tasman travel, to the establishment of Tasman Empire Airways and the modern airliner. Vintage aircraft feature, with biplanes and single engine aircraft, as well as rare Solent flying boats. Interviewees talk about their desire to form a new private airline after the war, only to be denied, and the importance of having a national carrier in New Zealand.

A group of us had the idea at the end of the war to start our own airline. We did a lot of work on it and had the finances virtually settled, and I went down to see Peter Fraser to see exactly what the government reaction would be. And we were given a very terse and abrupt answer. Fraser said to me, and I still recall his words, he said "Patterson, if you and your people want to fly after the war there's only one way you're going to do it and that's with National Airways because we will not permit any private operations." So that was the end of that story.
– Former NAC general manager Doug Patterson

Key Cast & Crew

George Andrews


Malcolm Hall


Lynton Diggle


Dave Slade

Video Editor

Josie Harbutt

Assistant Editor

John Cathcart

Sound - Dubbing Mixer