New Zealand Aeromedical Service Providers

Operators Overview

Key Facts

Current Title:
New Zealand Aeromedical Service Providers
English Title:
New Zealand Aeromedical Service Providers
First Established:
ICAO Code:
Not applicable
New Zealand


Narrative Summary

Given the low population density of New Zealand and the large distances between hospitals, Air Ambulance and helicopter rescue services have become a vital amenity.

From the 1950s fixed-wing aircraft were being used to transport critically ill patients in remote aereas ot larger hospitals. The Kaitāia Aero Club operated an air ambulance from 1952 – first using a Fox Moth aeroplane and then a twin-engined Dominie.

In late 1970 the first rescue helicopter service was launched in Auckland. This pioneering programme was soon imitated in other parts of the country. By the 1980s there were several rescue helicopter services operating. These high profile services soon attracted commercial sponsors. From about 1990 the creation of Charitable Trusts to administer the services was widely adopted.

Once source says that aeromedical services are currently provided by 18 rescue helicopter trusts, and 12 companies and clubs operating fixed-wing aircraft – although only 13 trusts and 2 companies have been traced. These organisations are contracted by the government to ensure all regions have an ambulance service. Rescue helicopters also assist with police and search and rescue operations.

Public aeromedical services receive less than half of their funding from government, the rest comes from public donations and commercial sponsorship.

Key Dates

late 1970 First rescue helicopter service launched in Auckland.
1986 Commercial sponsors start providing funding.
1990 Charitable Trusts become the preferred administration model.

Current Status

There are reportedly 18 rescue helicopter trusts and 12 companies and clubs providing public aeromedical services, altough only 13 trusts and 2 companies have been traced.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

New Zealand Air Ambulances and rescue helicopters operate in a wide variety of markings. The helicopters normally display several coporate logos from their commercial sponosrs. There are no standard service titles.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Aircraft and helicopters carry standard New Zealand civil registrations.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

See individual operators.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

See individual operators.

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

To be added.


Main Headquarters

There is no central headquarters. The service is provided by individual operators tasked through the 111 emergency phone number system.

Organisational Structure

To be added.

Current Unit Assignments

Table of Current Unit Assignments

Historical Unit Assignments

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

Units Listing

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

See unit assignments.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.

More Information


None known


To be added


Wikipedia: Emergency Medical Services in New Zealand
The Air Rescue Group New Zealand
New Zealand Rescue Helicopters
New Zealand Air Ambulances
Ambulance Services

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.


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