Thursday, 26 November 2020


Helicopter petition signed by more than 19,000 already

The petition to reinstate a rescue helicopter based in Whitianga over the busy summer season and other peak holiday periods is still enjoying good momentum. In just three weeks, the hard copy and online versions of the petition have been signed by more than 19,000 people.

Last week, Murray Cleland of Whangamata Real Estate in Whangamata couriered more than 3,500 hard copy signatures to us. His support of the petition is outstanding. In addition to Whangamata, we’ve received full hard copy petition forms the past week from Whitianga, Waihi, Matarangi, Hahei, Cooks Beach, Tairua, Tuateawa, Hot Water Beach and Thames.

Natasha Schorn (pictured) of Espy Café in Whitianga is another great supporter of the petition. “I often man the till at Espy Café and it’s never too much effort to ask customers to sigh the petition if they haven’t done so already,” she says.

Another big boost of signatures is expected at the Whitianga Summer Concert on Sunday, 26 January where Greenstone Entertainment, the promoters of the concert, has not only agreed for signatures to be collected before and during the concert, but also to publicly promote the petition on the day. The Greenstone generosity is very much appreciated.

For the link to the online version of the petition see the petition advertisement on page 8. People are asked to please not sign the petition online if they have already signed the hard copy version.

The petition will remain open until the end of April, whereafter the signatures will be presented to Parliament. That will be followed by a Parliamentary Select Committee considering the petition. Work has already started on the Select Committee submission that will “back” the petition.

Anyone who would like to share their with us their rescue helicopter experiences or concerns for possible inclusion in the submission, must please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are a business owner or member of a community group and would like us to collect full hard copy pages of the petition, or need additional hard copy form from us, please email us or phone us on (07) 866 2090 and we’ll arrange for someone to catch up with you.

Pictured: Natasha Schorn of Espy Café in Whitianga is another great supporter of the petition.



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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.