Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Taranaki's rescue pilots call it quits

Both of Taranaki's community rescue helicopter pilots have quit. Photo / File
Both of Taranaki's community rescue helicopter pilots have quit. Photo / File

Both of Taranaki's community rescue helicopter pilots have quit, while a lack of funds for the trust that runs it threatens its future.

The trust needs $400,000 by Christmas to avoid having to close by the end of the year.

Chairman Mark Masters told Radio New Zealand it was not a good situation, but they were working on it.

He said one of the pilots had been offered a better paying job in the Australian mining industry and the other announced his resignation once the trust's financial position was announced.

"The first pilot's still there until the end of this month and the second pilot's there until the end of October. So it's not as though we're not flying at the moment."

He said they had contingency plans for after October and while they were filling the positions permanently.

They were trying to raise funds from local industries and had support from the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust. The trust had also received a lot of donations and support, he said.

"I'm quite confident that we'll pull this thing through."

- APNZ

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