Awarded in memory of the late Liveryman Miss Jean Batten, to recognise an outstanding individual, crew, group or organisation's contribution to New Zealand aviation.
2021 Awarded to: Sir Peter Jackson ONZ KNZM
Sir Peter has long had a deep interest in the history and commemoration of the seminal event of the twentieth century, The Great War. Over many years he has gathered a substantial collection of memorabilia including weapons, uniforms, flags, military decorations and other artifacts. In the late 1990s his interest extended to aircraft of the period and he acquired a reproduction Sopwith Camel, that would become part of a major collection of over 50 aircraft. Sir Peter’s company is known as The Vintage Aviator (TVA).
The TVA aircraft (and those of other collections) are now the only physical link to the first aerial conflict in history. In this way the collection has become ‘living history’, not just in the appearance and sounds of single aircraft in flight, but the multiple sights and sounds of larger formations and tactical scenarios.
Sir Peter has created a remarkable contribution to World War One knowledge through TVA which is now a Wellington and Masterton based aircraft restoration and manufacturing company. Its primary aim is ‘to build WWI aircraft, engines and propellers to the same exacting standards to which they were originally made over 100 years ago’. They make both airworthy and static aircraft for museum display and private collections. Their engineers look after, and operate, the World War One aircraft. In terms of numbers of aircraft and quality of craftsmanship, it is a reasonable assertion that TVA is the finest collection of WWI aircraft in the world.
The level of detail and reproduction of these machines is truly inspiring. Through Sir Peter’s efforts there have been numerous World War One aircraft recreated and rare aircraft that have been returned to airworthy status. The majority of aircraft manufactured since 2008 have been constructed to painstakingly accurate detail using original materials and are powered by original or recreated original engines. It is entirely appropriate to describe these aircraft as ‘late build originals’. A number of other aircraft are genuine time capsules from 1914-1918 including an Avro 504, BE2f, Bristol Fighter, Sopwith Camel and Hanriot HD-1. These latter aircraft are priceless.
Sir Peter not only collects World War One fighter planes, he has also safeguarded their future. Many of these planes had wooden frames covered in cloth, so it can be difficult to find surviving models that are still capable of flight. By using blueprints to create replicas with acute precision and historically accurate materials, Sir Peter has managed to create new aeroplanes for his collection that are still authentically vintage. Furthermore, he has also allowed, at his own cost, the skills that built these aircraft to be taught to a new generation of restorers which will ensure that this knowledge is not lost.
Sir Peter is an exceptional person, with an incredible passion for World War One aircraft. He has, almost single-handedly, pioneered the resurgence in interest in both World War One (note, his World War One colourised film ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’) and World War One aircraft. Sir Peter’s purpose for the collection is to recreate and commemorate history and to display it to the general public. In its flying weekends the collection trains individuals in the skills in flying and maintaining WWI aircraft and develops its overall ability to participate in aviation events as required by the owners. These aviation events may be small-scale for visitors, collectors and potential customers or large-scale events such as major airshows. The collection is also used for film, TV or commemoration display purposes.
It is without doubt, that were it not for Sir Peter, many of these aircraft would be lost to time and numerous museums around the world, including the RAF Museum, would not have examples on display. Aviation enthusiasts worldwide owe Sir Peter a debt of gratitude, as were it not for his passion for War World One aircraft and his desire to see these aircraft viewed by future generations, many of these historic aircraft would not exist. Sir Peter has taken his passion and created a legacy that all those with an interest in aviation should be proud of.
For his outstanding personal contribution to New Zealand and vintage aviation worldwide Sir Peter Jackson is awarded the Jean Batten Memorial Award.
1992/93 Henry (Harry) Bielby Esq
1993/94 Captain A G (Gorden) Vette
1995 Not Awarded
1995/96 Raymond Gilbert Mulqueen Esq
1996/97 Air Commodore Stuart Mclntyre
1998 Not Awarded
1998/99 Ossie James
1999/2000 Captain Stuart Julian
2000/01 John William Reid MBE
2002 Not Awarded
2002/03 Captain Bryan Stephen Wyness BSc
2004 Not Awarded
2004/05 Ian Andrew Ritchie
2005/06 Maxwell Brooke Stevens
2007 Not Awarded
2007/08 William Ronald Tannock
2008/09 Squadron Leader James Rankin
2009/10 Michael Edmund Murray
2011 Not Awarded
2011/12 Guyon Moncrieff Robertson
2012/13 Lewis John Jenkins
2013/14 William (Bill) Arthur Black MBE
2015 Not Awarded
2016 John Funnell MBE
2017 - 2018 Not Awarded
2019 Glyn Powell and Warren Denholm
2020 Not Awarded
2021 Sir Peter Jackson ONZ KNZM