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Te Puke's state of the art ambulance

Te Puke is the home base for a brand new, state-of-the-art ambulance which will serve the ill and injured across the Western Bay of Plenty.

Trinity Lands donated the $218,000 Mercedes Sprinter to St John at a ceremony in Te Puke on September 1, 2020. The vehicle is kitted out with the latest lifesaving equipment and offers a safe and comfortable work environment for paramedics.

An amazing gift

St John’s Bay of Plenty operations manager Jeremy Gooders says eight ambulances are on the road in the Tauranga region every day. He says this ambulance – “an amazing gift” – replaces an older vehicle. It will routinely cover an area from Tauranga to Whakatane but could be deployed further afield.

Rising need for lifesaving ambulances

There are about 20,000 urgent calls for an ambulance across the Western Bay each year, and demand in Te Puke has grown in recent years as the population has surged. Trinity Lands’ chair Stuart Bay says ambulances offer lifesaving treatment and comfort in desperate moments, and many families have experience of needing an ambulance during a critical medical event.

“We are really proud to be able to give this ambulance to St John.”

Trinity Lands’ CEO Peter McBride handed the keys over to The Order of St John’s Lyn Price. The Order’s chaplain Rev Ruth Dewdney blessed the vehicle.

New ambulance logs 5,000km in 3 weeks

In its first three weeks in operation, the ambulance clocked up 5,000km. On a trip to Maketu in late September, shift manager Todd Lahmert pointed out the features of New Zealand’s newest ambulance.

“A paramedics life is much like a farmer’s: Every day is different”.

Todd Lahmert,
former farmer

“I am so comforted to know that if my son Nīkau ever needs an ambulance, we won’t be waiting 45 minutes for one to come from Tauranga.”

Young Maketu mum Michelle Te Aute said she was so grateful that there was a state-of-the-art ambulance in nearby Te Puke.

“The stream is important to this community because it's a traditional area of food gathering. It has historical significance​ and is just a beautiful spot.”

Brett Fleming,
Trinity Lands
Sustainability Manager

2nd Ambulance that Trinity Lands has donated

This is the second ambulance Trinity Lands has donated to St John; the organisation’s late chair Ian Elliott led a project to donate one to Tokoroa, where it’s affectionately known as The Trinny.

“You make it all possible – a big thank you to the kiwifruit growers.”

Trinity Lands has been growing kiwifruit in Te Puke for 20 years. Orchard employees were invited to the Te Puke ambulance dedication ceremony, and Mr McBride thanked them for the hard work that enables donations such as this.