In December 1939, the RNZAF was allocated 105 Harwards, the first aircraft not arriving in New Zealand until March 1941.
It served in a wide variety of roles with the RNZAF, including flight training schools (Woodburne being the biggest user) fighter squadrons, fighter operational training units, army co-operation squadrons, the Central Flying School and the Fighter Gunnery School. Post war, Harvards served at Wigram and later the four territorial squadrons. Wartime aircraft were sold as scrap in 1959, being purchased by Bennet Aviation, Te Kuiti. The Harvard parts were used to create the unique Bennet Airtruk, which appeared in 1960. Some of the last operational Harvards served with 14 Squadron at Ohakea as Forward Air Control Aircraft. In 1977, the Government Stores Board sold off most of the remaining Harvards in the RNZAF. NZ1015 is an historical flying aircraft at RNZAF Ohakea with a significant number of aircraft also maintained in flying condition by privat owners, with a significant number on display today.