Confirmation today from the Labour-led Government that the Rotorua rescue helicopter base will be closed is a massive blow to the people of Rotorua, MP for Rotorua Todd McClay says.

“Health Minister David Clark has said that there will be no change in response times, but that simply doesn’t make sense when helicopters will have to travel from other centres.

“The people of Rotorua deserve to have their own rescue helicopter service and they shouldn’t have to rely on choppers coming from Taupo, Tauranga and as far away as Hamilton.

“It takes about half an hour for a helicopters to arrive from Hamilton, that length of time could be the difference between life and death. 

“The people of Rotorua have every right to feel that they’ve been let down by having a critical service taken away from them.

“I’m calling on the Minister to do what’s right and reverse this decision before lives are lost.”

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