It makes sense for those who govern our rescue helicopter services to want an effective, efficient service.

The National Ambulance Sector Office says the current model is not sustainable, that the demand for air ambulance services has been rising and is predicted to continue rising. That's why it's leading the charge for a new model.

Fair enough. But you can understand the concern from potentially affected communities. And that's not just those facing the loss of a rescue helicopter service.

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Central North Island mayors were to meet with health minister David Clark yesterday to voice their concerns.

Update: Win for mayors over rescue helicopters

The mayors of Ruapehu, Taupo and Rotorua have good reason to be worried. The model proposed by the Ministry of Health, ACC and district health boards, through the National Ambulance Sector Office, does not include Rotorua or Taupo. The closest bases would be in the larger population centres Tauranga, Hawke's Bay, Hamilton and Palmerston North.

Earlier this month Taupo mayor David Trewavas said people will die if Taupo's rescue helicopter service is withdrawn. This was echoed last week by Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand. They're particularly worried that Taupo and Te Anau are not in the proposal.

And Hawke's Bay locals have been warned of flow-on effects, with the region's service potentially tasked with more jobs covering the central North Island area, reducing their availability here in the Bay.

The National Ambulance Sector Office says around half of air ambulance missions are inter-hospital transfers of patients. This could well explain the focus on larger population centres, but on the face of it, it seems crazy not to have centrally based rescue helicopter services, available to help surrounding regions, rather than relying on those regions to cover the sizeable gap, and each other's patches when needed.