Wednesday, 29 January 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Rescue helicopter petition off to a flying start

The Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust (CRHT)/Informer/More FM petition to reinstate a rescue helicopter based in Whitianga over the busy summer season and peak holiday periods is off to a flying start. Accurate figures aren’t yet available, but anecdotal evidence suggest more than 7,000 signatures have been collected since the launch of the petition on Tuesday last week.

In only a few days’ time the Coromandel was “blanketed” by the petition with forms and posters distributed by Informer and More FM teams, CRHT trustees and Coromandel MP, Scott Simpson.

The petition form was also emailed out to a variety of businesses on the Hauraki Plains who are keen to help.

The petition will remain on foot until 30 April and will be presented to Parliament by Mr Simpson.

Heartening is the number of people and businesses willing to help with the collection of signatures. Examples are Maureen Miller who sacrificed her New Year’s Day last week to obtain signatures on the Whitianga Ferry and Linley Hadwin who put her hand up to distribute copies of the petition form (and collect full forms) in Pauanui.

In addition, Auckland resident and frequent visitor to Mercury Bay, Debbie Edwards, has offered to collect information behind the scenes, to be used later-on in a Parliamentary Select Committee submission. Debbie has launched her first Official Information Act request last weekend already.

The Coromandel Town Lions Club has also donated $1,500 to the CRHT to be used in the campaign to have a rescue helicopter returned to the Coromandel.

Informer and More FM teams, CRHT trustees and community volunteers will regularly do the rounds among businesses and community groups to collect full petition forms and hand out more copies of the form. However, if you would like copies of the form to be delivered to you, full copies collected from you or a PDF copy of the form emailed  to you in between rounds, please contact The Informer (phone 07 866 2090 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or More FM (phone 0800 267 636 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and someone will touch base with you.

An online version of the petition has been submitted to the Office of the Clerk of Parliament and is awaiting moderation. As soon as the online version has been approved, the link to the petition will be publicised by The Informer and More FM. That may happen this week still.

In the weeks and months to come, we would like to give us many people as possible credit for going above and beyond in their support of the effort to have a rescue helicopter returned to the Coromandel (similar to acknowledging Maureen Miller’s effort in this article). We’ve already identified a few people we’ll approach next week, but if you’re aware of an individual or business deserving of recognition for their support of the petition, please let us know and we’ll make contact with them.

Pictured: Brian Bowering (left), chairman of the CRHT, accepting a donation from Gordon Barnaby of the Coromandel Town Lions on Thursday last week. The donation is to be used in the campaign to have a rescue helicopter returned to the Coromandel.

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