The Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust (TAAT) was formed in 2006 to manage the fixed-wing air ambulance service for Taranaki residents. The Trust operates a Beechcraft King Air C90A (ZK-ZZA) but also has access to other aircraft to ensure continuity of this essential service to the Taranaki Community. TAAT is a Charitable Trust registered with the Charities Commission (CC34440), meaning all donations, which are greatly appreciated, are fully tax deductible. You can find out more about our trust on the Charities website.

The trust is committed to providing the best Air Ambulance service it can for the people of Taranaki. Based at the New Plymouth Airport, the team works closely with the team at Taranaki District Health Board to provide a quality service for people who are in need of special care.

Every week, the Taranaki Air Ambulance makes an average of eight flights carrying patients for life-changing or life-saving medical care not available in Taranaki. The Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust manages this essential service on behalf of the people of Taranaki.

In the last 12 months, the Taranaki Air Ambulance transported an average of 500 patients for urgent medical care that is simply not available in our region. The support of Taranaki people and businesses keeps this vital asset ready to take-off for life-changing and lifesaving flights for the people of our community.

Close collaboration between the Taranaki District Health Board, St John, flight nurses, pilots and staff keep the service in constant readiness to transport patients.

Our People


Shona Glentworth

Shona has an organisational development business called Implement, offering personal development training, coaching and mentoring and consulting to a range of businesses and not for profits. She is a member of NP West Rotary, Ngā Manu Reo Toastmasters and chairs The Network for local women in business. She enjoys being a big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters.


christina houghton
Christina Houghton

Christina is a New Zealand registered pharmacist, practising in a community pharmacy in New Plymouth. She is a member of Soroptimist International, a group working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women.

david drummond
Trustee / Manager
David Drummond

David has been involved in many areas of aviation from flying small aircraft to exporting chickens on International Airlines and enjoys flying as a private pilot. He is probably better known as the chicken man as he has been in the Poultry Industry for 40-plus years. He is focused on ensuring we maintain a Taranaki-based Air Ambulance service for Taranaki people. David, his wife, their children and grandchildren live in New Plymouth.

owen williams
Trustee / Secretary
Owen Williams

Owen has been involved with aviation since learning to fly in 1967. He has always had an interest in helping others. He was a member of the New Plymouth Aero Club since 1974 and was on the executive, including three years as President. Owen was a founding trustee and secretary of the Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust since it was formed in 2006. He has an extensive background in construction engineering in New Zealand and overseas.

cameron murray
Cam Murray

Cam grew up in Taranaki and spent much of his adult life teaching after earning a Geography degree. He taught in Wellington and then Opunake and it was there he learned to fly. Cam spent 35 years in Canada teaching, where he gained a Masters of Education degree. Cam has long been involved in outdoor, environmental, community foundation, and citizen planning groups and is experienced in governance at local, provincial and federal levels. He returned home in 2006 and quickly became involved in the community. He has variously been a volunteer at Puke Ariki, a biographer with Hospice; a  member of the Kaitake Conservation Trust; the Oakura Community Action Group and was on the board of Taranaki Air Patrol before joining TAAT.


The early origins of the Air Ambulance Service operating in Taranaki coincided with the growth of the local aerial topdressing industry. The development of numerous farm strips offered potential landing grounds in addition to the three main airfields for Tiger Moths, Piper Clubs and eventually, Cessnas in Hawera, Stratford and New Plymouth, Using these strips for ambulance flights significantly reduced the time between injury and treatment for people living in rural Taranaki.

In 2006 The Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust was formed to provide a dedicated Air Ambulance service for the people of Taranaki. The Trust purchased a Piper Navajo Aircraft ZK-MJF in August 2011 and obtained its own Air Operating Certificate in October 2012.

In 2014, the trust built a hangar alongside its offices on Puketapu Crescent at the New Plymouth Airport. In 2015, a replacement aircraft, the Cessna 421 pressurised aircraft, was bought. It enabled a better level of care for patients being transferred, as well as more comfort for the nurses and pilots.

In 2015 the trust reviewed its operation and restructured to contract a separate operator to hold the Air Operating Certificate and manage the aircraft, overseeing all provisions of the service, including employment of pilots and compliance with CAA requirements.

Previously Used Aircraft’s

Below are the aircraft used in the provision of this service:

Cessna 172 ZK-BVP

Cessna 172 ZK-CCE

Cessna 172 ZK-CDL

Cessna 177 ZK-CTC

Cessna 177 ZK-DFV

Cherokee Six ZK-DIN

Cessna 207 ZK-NPA

Piper Seneca2 ZK-NPG

Cessna Crusader 303 ZK-EXA

Piper Navajo ZK-ECQ

Piper Navajo ZK-MJF

Cessna 421C ZK-TAM


Donate now and help support the Air Ambulance Trust


Our Sponsors

  • new plymouth district council logo
  • first gas logo
  • craigs investment partners logo
  • omv logo
  • nzme logo