Taranaki Rescue Helicopter winches badly injured man off Mt Taranaki

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Over the next eight weeks representatives of the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter will be calling homes rallying for help – will you answer the call for help?







By freelance writer Sharyn Smart

Stratford man Guy Vickers says he would have died without the help of the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter crew winching him off Mt Taranaki.

“I can’t describe the feeling when I heard the thump of the copter.  It was an amazing feeling.  The first person to see me was crewman Phil Dwyer.  He pointed to me and gave me two ‘thumbs up’ from the chopper cargo bay.  At that point I knew that I was absolutely safe.  They’d found me.”

Guy was climbing on the slopes of Mt Taranaki when he fell threw a snow pocket and severely broke multiple bones in his ankle.

“I walked into the gully OK on snow … but as I retraced my steps I chose to move further down towards the gully base.  After the fourth step my left foot just broke through the surface of the snow and I went down about a metre where my crampons grabbed on a sloping rock underneath.  The weight of my body with my day pack came down on that left foot and just snapped outwards, breaking several bones in my ankle area!”

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Learning outside the classroom with DOC


Omata School deputy principal Pat Murphy is back in the classroom this week after spending the past six months scouring the slopes of Mt Taranaki as part of a science fellowship.

Mr Murphy, who has been teaching for 35 years, said the Primary Science Teacher Fellowship he did with the Department of Conservation was amazing.

“You are walking around from Holly Hut to the display centre on a beautiful fine day – that is just a great experience that I’m being paid to enjoy,” he said.

“Of course there is also the downside, when there is snow on the mountain and weather conditions aren’t pleasant, and only the truly committed people are out doing their job.”

The fellowship, funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, is managed by the Royal Society of New Zealand. It is designed to allow teachers to work alongside professionals doing science-driven work and take back their experiences to the classroom.

Mr Murphy worked alongside the Department of Conservation’s Taranaki biodiversity assets supervisor, Emily King.

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Kiwi chick released on Mt Taranaki

“It was an honour to handle and release him,” said Brian Thomas.

tdn kiwi standInto the wild : Eltham couple Audrey & Brian Thomas arrive with Squeak for his release onto Mt Taranaki.

Article and photo by SHARYN SMART – Published in the Taranaki Daily News – 22/05/2013

Eltham farmer Brian Thomas saw the reward for months of hard work when he released the kiwi chick Squeak on to Mt Taranaki earlier this month.

The young bird, which carries Mr Thomas’ own nickname, is the first chick from the Taranaki Kohanga Kiwi at Rotokare project to be released into the wild.

“I originally got involved with the project by being a volunteer, working on the predator fence at Rotokare,” Mr Thomas said.

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