Protesters pushed a medical gurney along a rainy Taupo street this morning to oppose the proposed closure of a rescue helicopter base in the town.

The crowd of up to 1000 people of all ages turned out in Taupo to protest the possible axing of Taupo's Greenlea rescue helicopter.

Some carried a banner which read "if our chopper can't fly, more folk will die" others carried white crosses.

#LIVE: Rescue helicopter protest march on now in Taupo.

Posted by Taupo Weekender on Sunday, 15 April 2018

After marching approximately a kilometre in heavy rain from the Taupo Fire Station to the town centre, they gathered inside the Great Lake Centre for speeches.


The National Ambulance Sector Office has proposed a new national structure for air ambulance services, with Taupo no longer included.

The Greenlea rescue helicopter - based at Taupo Airport - has been called out hundreds of times a year to jobs ranging from medical emergencies to lost trampers and survival situations on the mountains of the Central Plateau.

It was called out 10 times during the four-day Easter break.