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New rescue service for NZ region soon

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New rescue service for NZ region soon

Old 1st Jun 2009, 05:30
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: New Zealand
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New rescue service for NZ region soon

Two services is just not tenable in any part of little 'ole New Zealand.

By JONATHON HOWE - The Manawatu Standard Last updated 12:32 25/05/2009

Manawatu skies could soon be patrolled by two rescue helicopters after the establishment of a emergency services trust in Palmerston North.

The Central Region Emergency Service Trust (Crest) was formed by a group of Manawatu residents, who want to see a locally owned and operated rescue helicopter in Palmerston North.

The Square Trust rescue helicopter, which services Manawatu, is based at Palmerston North Hospital, but is administered by the Taupo-based Phillips Search and Rescue Trust.

Massey University head of external relations Sue Foley was voted Crest's chairwoman at the group's first official meeting on Thursday.

The trustees are Higgins Group chairman Pat Higgins, Manawatu Mayor Ian McKelvie, doctor Rawiri Durie and accountant Dave Bennett.

Ms Foley would not comment on whether Crest was set up to rival or replace Square Trust, but was quick to point out that Palmerston North was the only regional city without a locally managed rescue helicopter.

"As you can see from the list, these are people with incredible strength in the community, whoare really community-minded and felt that perhaps we should stepup and take responsibility, andlook at what we can contribute."

Funding options and a strategic business plan were being reviewed, but it was still "early days", she said.

Auckland-based Rea Wikaira a former chief executive of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter will be the trust's spokesman and technical adviser.

The cost of establishing a rescue helicopter varied, but services in Auckland and Wellington cost about $4.5 million to set up, he said.

When asked his opinion of the Square Trust rescue helicopter, Mr Wikaira said it was a "good service".

Phillips Search and Rescue Trust executive chairman Errol Miller was unaware of Crest's formation when approached by the Manawatu Standard, but said rumours of a new trust had been circulating for about three months.

"What I'd like is for them to meet with us and talk about it." Having rival rescue helicopters operating in a single city would be an unfortunate situation, he said.

"I think the last thing people need is rescue helicopters competing with each other."

Mr Miller was concerned about rumours that money raised in Palmerston North by the Square Trust was used in other regions. "Money raised in an area would definitely be put to use in that area," he said.

"Every two or three years we sit down with all the councils and go through with them what we are achieving and where we are going, and we also present them with figures."

The amount of fundraising money going in and coming out of a particular area might not always match up on a yearly basis, but the difference was made up in the long run, he said.
Te_Kahu is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2009, 07:22
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: All The Places I Shouldnt Be
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Yes but having Rea behind it is a big plus.

Wish him all the best, bet Flappy is a little pissed at the moment.
Ned-Air2Air is offline  

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