Coromandel community rallies as Govt tries to axe rescue helicopter

Coromandel community rallies as Govt tries to axe rescue helicopter
Photo credit: Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust

Locals across the Coromandel are banding together in a bid to keep their rescue helicopter, after the Government pitched a proposal to axe the service from the region.

A rally is kicking off on Saturday afternoon with up to 2000 people expected.

Trustee of the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust, Brian Bowering says the region would suffer without it.

"We have loads that are less than acceptable. We very, very often, anywhere in the peninsula can be flooded in or out because we just get continual rains, it gets the high tides and next thing the roads are closed and the ambulances can't move.

"Everybody has an interest in this. It's not for young or old, it's everybody. We need to get this sorted and get it sorted quickly.

"As it stands it averages one mission a day to the peninsula or on the peninsula. In 2016 it was I think they did 320 calls to the peninsula alone."

Mr Bowering says over the Easter holiday this year there were six missions.

In April, Taupo put on its own show of force as the Ministry of Health looked to cut rescue helicopter bases, including Taupō and Rotorua, as part of a review of services.

Locals marched the street in protest, led by Mayor David Trewavas, with some residents calling it a matter of life or death.

Saturday's rally in the Coromandel will begin at 3:30pm.