I don't think Wigram even had what we would call a control tower today during WW2, but they did have what was known as the "Duty Pilot" sitting on a chair on the flat roof who was supposed to report breaches of flying discipline to the CFI! Flying control on training stations was often later carried out from a mobile "tower" from the back of an enclosed truck known as the "Checkers van" because of its high viz colour scheme. This was because some of these fields were just big paddocks really, and flying on any given day would be located on the most suitable patch depending on wind direction, etc. The building itself (at Wigram) was originally called the "Instructional Building" as that was where the early (prewar) pilot courses were given their classroom work, although these courses eventually got so big that they had to build larger lecture rooms for them, and the "instructional building was put to different uses, including administration. I think the "cabs" were added (or existing ones enlarged) to many of the RNZAF flying stations in the early to mid-1950s, including Ohakea and Whenuapai (and probably Woodbourne and Taieri), although Harewood had one from very early years, as did Rongotai, probably Mangere too. This is a subject on which very little research has been done so far. IT should be noted that many of these stations were also used for civilian purposes during and after the war, and it was more often the case that proper air traffic control facilities were introduced, although Whenuapai may have been an exception when it became a major aerodrome and point of entry for international flights from the North, including US military transports and the like, so would have required a good overall view for the air traffic prsonnel. David D
Wigram operated a "watch office" which was located at the front of what became SGHQ (identified by the curved windows on the second floor) it later became the office for SATCO. Paraparaumu was the first post-war specifically designed control tower built in 1947 and is now preserved as a historic building.
My initial post on this subject was, as is fairly evident, just a quickie post off the top of my head. I knew that Paraparaumu was also a well-known aerodrome on the "main trunk route" from the time that RNZAF C-47s took on this job in late October 1945, and as mentioned it was mainly through civilian aerodromes with scheduled airliners which seemed to stimulate the introduction of "proper" control towers as we understand them (although these early ones pale into insignificance compared to the modern "starships" which have appeared at our major airfields today). The original Rongotai aerodrome also had a fairly early, although small control tower (mid-WW2?), and likely so did Milson, and other places where Lodestars and the like called in from immediately postwar and on into the 1950s. However I would not hazard a guess as to which was first. Much of my reference material is still stored in stacked cartons, so anybody interested can trawl their own material, for DATED photos (or photos with period aircraft) of our early aerodromes to enable a more accurate version of the history of our control towers. Sounds like fun!