The air force says crew on a new helicopter rescued a missing tramper on the chopper's debut mission.

An air force NH90 helicopter was deployed to find missing tramper David Schopf.

The Austrian tramper went missing in the Tararua Forest Park on Wednesday.

The NH90 spotted him in a valley late on Friday afternoon and winched him to safety, the Royal New Zealand Air Force said.


Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Mike Yardley, said the NH90s would take over key search and rescue and national security roles from the old Iroquois helicopters.

"The aircraft performed well during its first search and rescue mission, and demonstrated it is well-equipped to perform this type of task. The crew have also done a great job and performed well under pressure," Air Vice-Marshal Yardley said.

The air force said the NH90s and A109s would be capable of undertaking all tasks the Iroquois performed by mid-2015.