A cardiac arrest survivor is calling out the "malicious" theft of two lifesaving defibrillators from outside an Auckland tennis club.

Janine Jones, a member of Devonport's Ngataringa Tennis Club, said since 2017 two automated external defibrillators (AED) had been stolen from outside of the clubhouse in Stanley Bay Park.

"The AED is useless to anyone unless they are suffering a cardiac arrest," Jones said.

"If you have taken it as a type of dare, trophy, or prank-week stunt, then shame on you."


Jones suffered a cardiac arrest in 1997 at age 30 and a St John paramedic had used an AED on her to save her life.

After the incident Jones' husband, comedian Paul Ego, had assisted AED-maker HeartSaver with some promotional videos, who had provided the tennis club with their first AED.

They decided to place it outside the clubhouse so it was available to the community 24/7, Jones said.

Within days the AED had saved the life of a young man at the neighbouring sports grounds, Jones said.

"A passer-by knew about the AED we'd installed and was able to save his life with it."

But this was stolen in November last year.

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Jones managed to acquire a replacement, and the club fundraised $700 to purchase a more secure cabinet, only for someone to notice it had gone missing on Sunday.


"They have maliciously opened the cabinet with a screwdriver."

Jones said the AED was available 24/7 for the benefit of the community should anyone suffer a medical emergency, but was useless to anyone else.

"It will not activate unless attached to someone in cardiac arrest. You cannot use it to give your mates an electric shock, and you cannot resell them."

Jones urged whoever stole it, to return it to the cabinet.

"I hope you never lose a friend or loved one because a defibrillator that might have saved their life was stolen.

"If you have any conscience at all, return the AED to its now unlocked cabinet. Due to your actions, the club will now have to fundraise again to have security cameras installed."

A person's chance of surviving a cardiac arrest doubles if they get a jolt from a defibrillator within the first couple of minutes.

St John Assistant Director of Operations Clinical Practice Johnny Mulheron said stealing an AED was taking away a life-saving piece of equipment which was only useful in a cardiac arrest emergency.

"It is specifically designed for this purpose and therefore has no other value.

"Having access to AEDs or 'heart starters' in the community is critical. Survival rates can be doubled by stepping in quickly with CPR and using an AED."

Public AED locations across New Zealand can be found at: https://aedlocations.co.nz/