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Just 14 days after the Rotorua Rescue Helicopter service was scrapped lives are already being put at risk, MP for Rotorua Todd McClay says.

“Yesterday a man working on a forestry site near Rotorua received an electric shock from powerlines. The 35-year-old Tauranga chopper was being serviced in Auckland and the Taupo helicopter was out on another job.

“This was a serious incident. Ambulances had to drive to the scene when a chopper would have been able to get there much faster.

“Rotorua was given assurance that we would have a better rescue service and faster response times. Yet just two weeks after our chopper was taken away, it’s been proven that this is not the case.

“There was only one rescue chopper available for the Bay of Plenty area this week and that is appalling.

“Rotorua needs its own rescue helicopter and the Government must reverse its decision to close our bases.

“The Rotorua base was the only one in the country to close. Frankly this is not good enough. Local people are right to be angry. The Government and Philips Trust have questions to answer.”

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