Wednesday, 20 March 2019


Overseas tender for air ambulance services a worry

CHC Helicopter, an international giant in the air ambulance service industry, has started to recruit pilots, engineers and technical crew to join them in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

In their online advertisements, CHC says, “[We are] excited to have been invited to tender for air ambulance helicopter services in New Zealand. As a result, we are seeking initial Expressions of Interest from suitably qualified Pilots, Engineers [and] Technical Crew (Winch Operators) interested in working on this contract where the positions would be of a long term fixed base nature.

“Please note, as this tender is due for submission, we are unable to provide further details, including exact locations and salary guidelines, at this time. If CHC is successful more information regarding this will be provided at an appropriate time.”

Walter Russell, chairman of the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust, says the possibility that an air ambulance service on the Coromandel Peninsula will be provided by an overseas company is a worry. “I’m not sure any overseas tenderers will understand the importance of keeping the Coromandel rescue helicopter base in Whitianga open,” he says. “We’re geographically isolated, most of our residents are a long way away from the nearest hospital and our roads are winding and littered with one-lane bridges. As things stand at the moment, the government won’t pay for any rescue missions flown out of Whitianga after 1 November this year.

“We need companies and organisations tendering for the air ambulance services in New Zealand to fight with us for the rescue helicopter base in Whitianga. And from our side, the people of the Coromandel need to send a very strong message to the government that the base needs to stay open. It’s of vital importance that as many people as possible attend our public meeting at the base tomorrow afternoon [Saturday 5 May] at 3:30pm. People shouldn’t be complacent, we’re dealing with a real threat.”

CHC is recruiting for staff through CHC Helicopter Australia Pty Limited, a company incorporated in Australia. The ultimate owner of this company is CHC Group LLC, the same owner of CHC Helicopter (New Zealand) Limited. CHC Helicopter (New Zealand) Limited is a New Zealand company that was incorporated only two weeks ago. CHC Group LLC’s official address is in George Town in the Cayman Islands. The global headquarters of CHC Helicopter is in Irving, Texas, United States.



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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.