The last year has been a time of great change.
The Trust started the year supporting the service with the Cessna 421. The aircraft was almost 40 years old and in need of constant repairs and maintenance. Unfortunately on May 24, 2019 our plane was involved in an incident at Hamilton Airport. The nose wheel failed to deploy correctly and this necessitated an emergency landing. The patient, nurse and pilot were all uninjured thankfully, but the plane was a complete write-off.
We were fortunate that Air Wanganui was able to continue to provide the service on behalf as an interim measure, with no disruption to the Taranaki District Hospital Board or patients. We have now engaged a new aviation operation who is able to supply the Taranaki people with the best possible service to our region.
As a Trust, we can now concentrate on fundraising for all the extra equipment needed to support the transfer of patients from Taranaki to those other parts of New Zealand which have the specialist care required. We already have a purpose-built hangar with a private transfer lounge for patients, which allow people time in a space dedicated to their needs.
We would like to maintain and even improve this area as well as adding to the specialist equipment such as defibrillators, baby pods and other medical items as required. We aim to continue to be a hub of excellence for all patient transfers and we work hard to maintain our level of service exclusively for the benefit of Taranaki people.
It is appropriate to offer my sincere thanks on behalf of the Trust to all of our family of sponsors; particularly our major sponsor OMV, as well as Craigs investment, First Gas, the New Plymouth District Council, the New Plymouth Airport company Papa Rererangi i Puketapu, TSB Community Trust, the Taranaki Electricity Trust and NZME.
I also offer my sincere thanks to members of the Taranaki public and the business community for their continued support. I assure you that every single donation, whether big or small, is valued. Remember we are Taranaki-based for Taranaki people.
We still have a lot to do, but with the support of our local communities, I know we will succeed.