Monday, 18 January 2021


Coromandel rescue helicopter base to stay

The National Ambulance Sector Office (NASO) has today announced that the Coromandel rescue helicopter base in Whitianga will remain as a base from where air ambulance services can be performed.

Whether a rescue helicopter and crew will be stationed in Whitianga on a 24/7 basis, as is currently the case, has not yet been determined. A decision in that regard will depend on improved data collection and monitoring to ensure helicopters and crews are available when and where they are most needed.

NASO has entered into an agreement with a new joint venture trust between the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust (ARHT) and the Northland Emergency Services Trust (NEST) to provide a single consolidated air ambulance service across the northern part of New Zealand. This will be for medical and injury emergencies and inter-hospital transfer services.

The new joint venture trust will announce its name before 31 March 2019, once all outstanding contractual matters with NASO have been worked through. Until 31 March 2019, ARHT and NEST will continue to provide the air ambulance services to Auckland, the Coromandel and Northland they are providing at the moment.

The NASO contract for the northern part of New Zealand covers from Counties Manukau to the tip of the North Island and includes the Northland, Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau District Health Board regions. The new joint venture trust will continue to support Starship Hospital’s paediatric intensive care facility and will include the Coromandel for medical and injury emergencies.

The rescue helicopter bases in Whangarei and Auckland will also remain.


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