What is the difference between a Z and a H?

Apparently our army transport and naval patrol air-wing (sorry, airforce) got new helicopters called NZ90‘s…there’s a fair distance between the H and Z keys on the keyboard…not that it would concern the “decent journalists, trained and skilled” at the Herald.


They could of course be referring to the NH-90:

The NHIndustries NH90 is a medium sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter manufactured by NHIndustries. The first prototype had its maiden flight in December 1995. Thirteen nations have ordered the NH90 with deliveries starting in 2006.

New Zealand

In July 2006, the New Zealand Government signed a contract to purchase 8 NH90s (plus 1 extra for spares) to replace their Air Force’s fleet of UH-1 Iroquois. These eight aircraft cost NZ$771m (~€500m), of which “over a third” was for support, implying each cost around €35m. The first two arrived in New Zealand in March 2012.

Even the Airforce refers to them as NH90. Still I imagine I’ll get an email soon from the editor telling me that it is a little known fact unpublished anywhere except in the Herald that they are affectionately known as NZ90.


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  • Peterkar

    You can do better than this nit-picking bullshit.

    • It isn’t nit picking. They claim to be a newspaper of record with decent journalists, trained and skilled, yet they can’t spot little factual errors like that.

      • unitedtribes

        I actually think the game changed when you became editor of the Truth. Now it just looks like getting at the opposition. As my mum always said “raise yourself above it”

      • Peterkar

        Just as the editor of “Truth” can’t spot that Ricki Herbert’s head has been truncated.

    • Tony V

      It’s about credibility and accuracy. If I submitted error laden reports to my clients and they pulled me up on it, would I just say they were ‘nit-picking’.

      • fozzie2

        Hardly error laden Tony – whale scours the Herald site and comes up with some silly error that in the context of everything is well ‘nit picking borering on obsession – we would be better served spending his time concentrating on his real job – at the Truth – might come up with some real news of his own for once !!

        • Tony V

          I disagree, although ‘error laden’ may have been too strong a phrase in this particular instance. As I have already said, it’s about credibility and accuracy. As to what Whale chooses to spend his time on, isn’t that his choice? His blog, up to him what he posts.

  • niggly

    Wouldn’t call it nit-picking, the NH-90 has been reported on by the NZH & MSM over the years, you’d think the journos or subbies would actually check their archives or surf the web to the RNZAF site.

    As Cam points out, there’s a hell a difference between the letter H and Z. Where the heck did the “Z” come from? Lazy reporting again.

    Would it be acceptable for lazy journos to call iPhones, say, tPhones, or BNZ bank FNZ bank?

  • OneTrack

    How much did this cost? Shouldn’t a more traditional method have been used ie waka?

    • Dave

      I hear there is a plastic Tupperware Waka available, its not doing much but taking up storage space!!

      • Honcho

        Better, they took a plastic tupperware helo … bring back the UH1-H’s!!!

  • boborocks

    funny though. NZ 90 is the Air NZ flight designation for flights from Narita, Japan to Auckland, usually serviced by a Boeing 767-300 not a helicopter. I’m pretty sure they didn’t land a Boeing wide-body at the marae.

  • BR

    Who paid for the helicopter?


    • Travis Poulson

      All of us most likely.

  • it reflects on the whole country when a small stuff up like this occurs. Its a very important article to get right.

  • Mrbadger

    Why do we not have the MSM asking the question of who paid for, or who in the defence force sanctioned the use of the helicopter?
    Or has the family been passing out the second rate daubs to the odd Minister

    • niggly

      Normally Labour and the Greens would be wasting up precious Parliamentary time (on the taxpayers expense of course) asking those sort of questions simply to try and embarrass John Key! This time of course they’ll shut up because of the circumstance. Another example of “acceptable” hypocrisy from the Left!

      As for the cost these things would be budgeted for in the Air Force’s operational budget and for the crew get valuable training in unfamiliar terrain, I’m sure they would have loved it!

      • Honcho

        As above, it would have been passed onto and authorised by MoD Dr Coleman, and passed onto the service chief, JFHQ would have ENSURED this tasking took place. Politics above that of the servicemen and women operating the bird.

        The tasking would have been budgeted for, and would have run as a NavEx, costing most likely taken from the ministeral duties budget, Government ministers may miss out on a few potential hours of use of these defence assets over the remainder of the financial year to allow for this flight, but that is a decision that has already been made.

        • le sphincter

          So you are saying Coleman did it ? Cant say he would give a toss about Hotere. More likely it was Finlayson who who wept crocodile tears and had a hissy fit until Key relented who then gave Coleman a direct order

  • Middleagedwhiteguy

    Forget the issue of the designation of the helicopter…how on earth is the use of the helo in this instance even justified? There is a road servicing this community. I can see it in the background of the photo.

  • Brian of Mt Wellington

    What makes this guy special for a chopper delivery. My nieces and nephews who are kids can paint just as messily.In fact probably anyone could make a mess with paint and call it art like this. How do you find out how much it cost and why they did it?

  • Patrick

    8 + 1 spare – why? Can someone with aviation expertise please explain that – are these machines so unreliable (or the environment so hostile) that a fully functional spare is required for every 8 flying. I would have thought a workshop stocked with spares for the most failure prone parts would be logical, i.e. engines, gearboxes etc. Then would could have 9 operational aircraft.

    • Jack The Ladd

      It’s was cheaper to buy an extra frame and strip it for spares than to buy the equivalent individual items off the shelf.