Rotorua fights to keep its air ambulance

Rotorua's Mayor is asking locals their thoughts on losing the air ambulance before she fights for it in Parliament.

Steve Chadwick is heading down to a community meeting at the hangar Saturday morning. She says locals have made it clear they want it to stay.

"There's a lot of community passion about this, because there's been a lot of fundraising over the years to keep the helicopter and we've very proud of this service. Those that have had the service really love it."

The National Ambulance Service says it's upgrading services but will have to cut a number of bases.

She and other Mayors at risk of losing the service will be in Parliament next week to speak to the Government and Ministry of Health officials.

Ms Chadwick says she'll accept a new model if the Government can prove its worthy.

"It can't just be a cost-effective exercise. I've got to seek assurances our people will be transferred to an appropriate level of care within an appropriate time frame."

As well as Rotorua, Taupō, Whitianga and Te Anau are among the services at risk of being axed. More than 18,000 people have signed a petition to save the helicopter.

The Ministry of Health says no decision has been made yet, and no community will be left without a service.