Lift off for Poppy Flight

Melanie Salisbury has come up with a novel way of raising funds. Photo: Grahams Glimpses Photography.

A Pyes Pa Travel Broker is reaching out for local support as she coordinates a new event called The Poppy Flight.

Raising funds for the RSA, NZ Warbirds Association, and Starship Foundation the initiative is the brainchild of Travel Managers Group Broker Melanie Salisbury, who plans and escorts aviation tours to Australia and the UK through her business Aviation Tours NZ.

The major fundraiser will see a poppy and star flown around New Zealand for three weeks. It will be added to at each destination to create an impressive piece of artwork.

Donations will also be collected along the way, and a welcome party and event in each destination on the route will await.

The first sector for the flight has already been confirmed, with the CEOs of Classic Flyers New Zealand and Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society, Andrew Gormlie and Roger van der Zanden, piloting a Harvard carrying the poppy and star from Tauranga to Gisborne on April 5.

“It’s all about bringing the local community and schools together to raise funds and support those who fought for our freedom, as well as those who are dealing with illness and challenges presently too,” says Melanie.

The flight will also help keep aviation history alive through the NZ Warbirds Association.

The project kickstarted this month to align with Armistice Day and will continue to ANZAC Day on April 25, with no shortage of opportunity for involvement.

“We are in desperate need of those who can crochet or knit that could help create poppies or stars to sell,” says Melanie.

“There are also opportunities for businesses interested in sponsorships, or those able to help raise funds to support us which could be as simple as a morning tea at the office or weekend car wash.”

Anybody interested in being involved in the project can visit: or contact Melanie on

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