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New Zealand Civil Defence Aids in Earthquake Recovery

By S.L. Fuller | November 23, 2016
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Christchurch Helicopters

Photo courtesy of Christchurch Helicopters Ltd

As Sikorsky Sea Hawks and NHIndustries NH90s persistently work in New Zealand in the aftermath of the Nov. 14 earthquake, civilian operators are also answering the call for help. The country’s Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is seeing generous support and donations, and local news outlets report that helpers include representatives from Christchurch Helicopters and Wanaka Helicopters, to name a couple.

Pete Spencer-Bower, Wanaka Helicopters managing director, joined the efforts of Christchurch Helicopters, transporting people and supplies. Kaikoura, New Zealand, was at the epicenter of the earthquake, and that’s where Spencer-Bower spent the past week. He told reporters that air traffic is congested with all those joining the effort, but the work won’t be over any time soon. The helicopters are busy evacuating hundreds of people, transporting food and water supplies and bring health professionals to and from the scene.


Wanaka Helicopters is a commercial helicopter service that offers flight training, sightseeing, photography, surveying firefighting and conservation services. Its fleet includes the Robinson Helicopter R22 and R44, and the Airbus Helicopters AS350. Christchurch Helicopters, based at Christchurch International Airport, also offers commercial services and pilot training. Its fleet includes the Airbus AS355F2 and AS350BA, Bell Helicopter 206 Jet Ranger, Hélicoptères Guimbal Cabri G2, and the Robinson R44.


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