Saving Lives for 50 Years

This year the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust celebrates half a century serving the Greater Auckland, Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel communities.

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter service originally operated a Hiller 12E helicopter out of Piha run by volunteer lifeguards. Our rotors started running in the summer of 1970/71.

In December 1970 two swimmers were pulled from the water at Bethells Beach. We’ve never looked back since then.

Started by the community and there for anyone in the community, New Zealand’s oldest rescue helicopter service continues to lead the way today. In 2019 we acquired two brand new Leonardo AW169 helicopters, retaining one BK117 helicopter and a Rapid Response Vehicle.

Tasked to over 20,000 missions to date, the Trust delivers a truly world-class rescue operation. We are the only rescue helicopter operator in New Zealand to offer Pre-Hospital and Retrieval Medicine Doctors onboard 24/7, providing life-saving medical care usually reserved for the emergency room from the moment  we touch down.

50 years on, our commitment to providing the very best patient care for every individual and their loved ones in their greatest time of need remains the same.