Ser­vice must be res­cued

Taupo Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Re­mov­ing Taupo’s res­cue he­li­copter ser­vice is not an op­tion, and the Govern­ment must make things right, Tu¯ whare­toa Ma¯ ori Trust Board says.

The Trust Board is call­ing for ac­tion after learn­ing that a re­quest for pro­posal from the Na­tional Am­bu­lance Sec­tor Of­fice does not in­clude a res­cue he­li­copter base in Taupo¯ .

The pro­posal re­moves Green­lea Res­cue He­li­copter’s Taupo¯ air­port base – sub­sti­tut­ing it for bases in Hamil­ton, Tau­ranga, Napier, and New Ply­mouth that will ser­vice the Cen­tral North Is­land re­gion. Taupo¯ ’s base would be gone by Novem­ber.

Trust board chief ex­ec­u­tive Topia Rameka said re­mov­ing the Taupo¯ base would ‘‘se­verely com­pro­mise’’ an emer­gency re­sponse.

‘‘This in turn could have a ma­jor im­pact on our health and safety per­for­mance, and neg­a­tive im­pli­ca­tions on the rep­u­ta­tion of our tourism in­dus­try,’’ he said.

‘‘Taupo¯ is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a tourism boom; there are thou­sands of peo­ple cross­ing Ton­gariro ev­ery week, and we have in­creas­ing lev­els of re­cre­ational ac­tiv­ity tak­ing place on our lake and in our forests.

Do you know some­one who has been res­cued by the Green­lea Res­cue He­li­copter? We want to hear your story. Email daniel.hutchin­son@stuff.co.nz

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A woman is helped into the Green­lea Res­cue He­li­copter after in­jur­ing her­self near the sum­mit of Mt Ton­gariro.

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