Rescue chopper loses funding bid

06:30, Apr 02 2014

Auckland's rescue helicopter has failed in its legal bid to overturn a funding cut.

A ratepayers funding board has cut contributions to Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust by around 70 per cent to $450,000 over a period of six years.

A High Court judge today rejected the Trust's request for a judicial review of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board’s controversial decision.

The Trust had argued the board's decision to reduce funding was illegal, irrational and unfair.

Funding had been reduced despite demand for the rescue helicopter’s services increasing in recent years.

However, the  judge ruled  the board was within its legal rights to cut funding


Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board  chairman Vern Walsh said they were pleased with the outcome.

“We have always been confident our processes are robust.”

The board distributes funds to 10  Auckland groups, including the Auckland Theatre Company, Observatory, and Surf Life Saving.

Funding for the other groups has increased.

The Helicopter Trust is currently fundraising for new helicopters, the first of which will cost $15 million.