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The Crew

The Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter crew are on standby 24/7, 365 days of the year.  They are trained in helicopter underwater escape, water rescue, boat winching, bush survival, snowline survival, avalanche survival, high altitude and nigh winching, flying the wire environment, CAA competency check, night vision goggles and winch competency.  In order to keep our crew compliant with CAA and regulatory requirements to provide a world class service, the Trust requires ongoing funding to keep crew currency.  This training keeps them highly trained in our rugged and isolated environment and saves vital lives in our community.

Each crew member is clothed in fire retardant clothing and flights suits and wear appropriate safety boots chosen for the changing terrain.  All crew have their own helmets, personal locator beacons, life vests, noise cancelling helmets and raincoats.  Pilots and crew are required to wear night vision goggle to aid them to fly at night without relying on moonlight increasing helicopter safety and callouts.  The cost of this equipment per pilot and crew person is approximately $30,000.

Medical equipment used by our Critical Care Paramedics include a defibrillator, ventilator, suction unit, video laryngoscope and while winching utilise stretchers, winch nappy and a cinch collar.

Prue Young

Critical Care Paramedic

Prue loves the role of medic. She says that the team work as a close-knit unit, utilising their skills to maximise the patient’s outcomes.

Ever changing situations with patient treatment, weather, other environmental concerns and small confined areas, present unique challenges to overcome, but Prue says it is a special feeling to go home and know you have truly helped someone in their time of need.

Carl Babe

Aircrew Officer

A successful and intense winch job that helps get someone the care they need, when they need it, is one of the most rewarding parts of Carl’s job.

He finds it incredibly reassuring knowing that help is there if he needs it while he is out doing what he loves whether it be sailing our coastline, tramping or skiing in our mountains or on the mountain bike trails.

Dion Edgar


Dion Edgar moved from the commercial sector to rescue services mid 2022. Dion has a large amount of flying hours behind him and extensive experience flying in varied conditions. He’s worked in the past as a pilot within the forestry and mining industry, as well as flying to fishing vessels out at sea.
Originally from the deep south, he began his career as a shepherd and saved as much as he could from shearing to become a helicopter pilot. Dion may call Nelson home now but he still rolls his R’s and wears his gumboots around the hangar.

Zoe Farmer

Paramedic & Crewperson

After completing her schooling and Paramedic qualification here in Aotearoa, Zoe returned to the United Kingdom to work on the frontline of the NHS, before coming home in pursuit of a career in HEMS.

A job that has it all says Zoe, “working outdoors in spectacular surroundings, being challenged both physically and mentally, making a difference in the lives’ of locals and to be a part of a continually evolving profession.”

Jeff Hughes

Critical Care Paramedic / Crewperson

From a role as a military contract Helicopter MEDEVAC and rescue, through to protective details for former President Obama, Jeff is now settled in his dream role, helping his community the best way he knows how.

Jeff has been operating as an Advanced Life Support or Intensive Care Paramedic for over 15 years, and is a safe pair of hands, there for you when you need him.

Kodee Pori-Makea-Simpson

Paramedic and Crewperson

After a Paramedic career in Australia, Kodee has returned home to Aotearoa to serve the community across Te Tau Ihu in her dream job. The unpredictable nature and need to wear many different ‘hats’ in her role, is what she loves most about her job. She credits the close-knit team environment for being able to provide help to those in need, whenever they need it.

Brendan Hiatt


The satisfaction of reeling in a “big one” on his boat is nothing compared to the feeling of satisfaction Brendan gets after completing an intense and successful mission.

Knowing that what he does as part of the team, to help people in our community get to the care they need faster is incredibly satisfying.

Matt Wilkinson

Critical Care Paramedic

Like many of his colleagues, Matt has lost count of the lifesaving missions he has completed.

Aside from the view on the job, Matt loves the closeness of his team and credits this for the incredible care and effectiveness of the team when undertaking life saving missions.

Kerryn Wratt

Critical Care Paramedic

Originally from Motueka, Kerryn has spent the last 20 years sharpening his Paramedic skills in Australia and has now returned home to serve his community. “Working on the rescue helicopter is a unique opportunity to work as part of a small team providing excellent medical care in remote and challenging places”, something Kerryn is passionate about. This role includes lots of challenges, but the rewards are significant.

Colby Tyrrell


The shift from touring commercial pilot to emergency service work Colby has relished. The reactive nature of the work with the Rescue Service responding 24 hours a day in sometimes less than favourable conditions keeps things fresh.

The shift from touring commercial pilot to emergency service work Colby has relished. The reactive nature of the work with the Rescue Service responding 24 hours a day in sometimes less than favourable conditions keeps things fresh.

Cam Carter

Paramedic and Crewperson

Formerly a Paramedic for Hato Hone St John, Cam joined the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter team in August 2023.  Cam thrives when contributing to a high-performing team and loves the challenges that arise from working in nature and the outdoors.  It’s a pleasure to provide care to our patients and their loved ones, when conventional means are not viable or time is of the essence.

The Trust

A deliberate blend of expertise and practical experience has been sought in establishing the make up of the Trust under the Chairmanship of John Rollston.  The Trustees set policies and procedures and monitor the Trust’s operational and financial performance and its obligations and agreements with sponsors.

The Trust is committed to keeping administrative overheads to a minimum, reserving funds for operational costs wherever possible.  There are only two employees, together providing just over 1.5 FTE hours, with hundreds of hours being given free of charge by the Trustees, volunteers and the business community to support the service.

Our Fundraisers

Paula Muddle

General Manager

With strong governance and a background in market research, marketing, design and sponsorship, Paula is employed by the Trust to ensure existing and new sponsors receive a high and favourable profile in the community and to obtain additional sponsorship and support for the Trust.

Our board

John Rollston,
Chartered Accountant


A Partner of FINDEX Chartered Accountants, John has over two decades of making a difference to people’s lives and making businesses more successful through providing business advice to help grow their business. He has a deep knowledge of business strategy & growth, international planning, Start-up structures, governance, and planning. John has specialist knowledge in the construction, export, aquaculture, international trade, start-ups, and food and beverage sectors.
His interests include mountain biking and the outdoors.

Robert Williams, Retired Accountant


A retired Partner of FINDEX Chartered Accountants. Rob was involved in providing advice on the acquisition/disposal of large commercial properties and works with major clients in the fishing and retailing industry. As well as his involvement with the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust he was past Treasurer of Nelson Deerstalkers, Treasurer of the Nelson Club, Treasurer of Tasman Bay Cruising Club and Nelson Underwater Club. His interests include hunting, fishing, diving and skiing.

Dennis Christian,
Real Estate


Educated in Nelson, Dennis returned here in 1992. Married with three sons, he has a background in banking, tourism and governance.  He Chairs the Board of the Tahuna Beach Camp Association as well as being a trustee and on the Board of Nelson College plus two other commercial boards.  After many years with the Bank of New Zealand he resigned in 2001 and with his wife Vonnie owned and operated Flying Kiwi Adventures, a nationwide tour operation until 2020 when Covid-2019 decimated the business.  During lockdown he took the opportunity to retrain and is now employed with Bayley’s Nelson.  A long fan of the work of the Rescue Helicopter he feels honoured to be involved in ensuring the long term sustainability of the service.

Amanda Munting-Kilworth,


Amanda is a lawyer specializing in employment and family law. She is a director of DMK Law Ltd a boutique family and employment law practice. She is also a qualified mediator.

Amanda grew up in Nelson and after many years practicing law in Christchurch and London she returned to her hometown around 10 years ago with her (then) young family. She now has a daughter at University, a son working and another at college.

Amanda feels privileged to be on the NMRHT board and will endeavour to apply the skills and various strengths she has acquired over the years in legal practice and in bringing up three children to enhance the boards’ commitment to the Trust’s purpose and goals.

The Operator

We are privileged to have had GCH Aviation as the operator of the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter service since 1996.

GCH Aviation is an umbrella brand representing their parent company Garden City Helicopters, based in Christchurch, New Zealand and many associated aviation operations extending throughout New Zealand and into the South Pacific.

These operations include Garden City Helicopters Christchurch, GCH Aviation Nelson, Coastwide Helicopters Greymouth, Kaikoura Helicopters, Wellington Helicopters and Pacific Island Air Fiji.

The GCH Aviation Group operates emergency air rescue and air ambulance operations: Canterbury Westpac Helicopter Christchurch, the ROA Rescue Helicopter based in Greymouth, Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter, and the New Zealand Flying Doctor Service as well as GCH Aviation Jet Centre, Jet Operations and Aeromed Pacific.

Together the GCH Aviation Group represents over four decades of exceptional aviation experience in helicopter and fixed-wing tourism, certified flight training, commercial, air rescue and air ambulance operations.

Safety is the paramount consideration for all their operations. Since their establishment as commercial, EMS and tourist operators, GCH Aviation has had an enviable safety record. GCH Aviation is an approved CAA check and training organisation. It is approved to carry out CAA 135.607 checks for many of the helicopter operators in the South Island.
The vast experience of the pilots, regular training, familiarity of equipment and extensive and continual exposure to the extreme terrain covered by their network, ensure that their safety record is maintained. This is complemented with in-house aircraft maintenance and quality assurance programmes.

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