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National applauds backdown on helicopters

Simon Power and Hon Tony Ryall - National Party MPs

19 January 2005

National applauds backdown on helicopters

National Party MPs Simon Power and Tony Ryall say they are delighted that ACC has backed down on a plan that could have seen several rural rescue helicopters axed.

ACC was recommending changes to the operation of rescue helicopters in rural areas that could have seen Palmerston North and the central North Island without nearby services.

"This is a victory for the thousands of people who signed the petition to keep the helicopters and a crucial victory for those who live in isolated rural areas," Mr Ryall, National's police spokesman, says.

"The only disappointment was that it took the Government so long to listen to the people who would have been affected."

Rangitikei MP Mr Power says he is delighted with the result of the hard-fought campaign in Horowhenua, Rangitikei and Manawatu.

"Special thanks must go to Nathan Guy, the National candidate for Otaki, whose initiative in starting the petition was crucial, and to Anne Tolley, National's East Coast candidate, for her hard work.

"The Government's complete surrender is overdue and most welcome," Mr Power says.

"In election year, this Government will U-turn on anything after public pressure."

ENDS

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