Amy Milne |

Hato Hone St John Buller is delighted to have a newly funded ambulance, which is to be celebrated tomorrow (Tuesday 6 September) along with the dedication of the Kawatiri health shuttle.

Hato Hone St John Buller recently received full funding from Pub Charity Limited for the new ambulance, a garage door replacement and a new heat pump for the station.

Kerri-Ann Rakena, St John Buller Area Support Manager, says Hato Hone St John is very grateful to have the support of Pub Charity Limited, particularly in replacing one of the older ambulances.

Westport ambulances can travel as far as the Greymouth or up to Murchison, Karamea, Reefton (Buller District) with many patients also being transported to Grey Hospital.

“In the 2021-2022 financial year, Westport have attended to 1,169 incidents and have transported 888 of these to a treatment centre. Of these emergency incidences, 32.5 percent were considered life threatening or time critical,” Ms Rakena says.

Hato Hone St John staff strive to deliver a high standard of patient care so being given the wonderful gift of the latest ambulance has improved the comfort of our patients and staff.

The new ambulance is a 2022 Gen 4 Mercedes and has all the latest equipment. 

“The amazing benefits of modern equipment in the ambulance such as the power-load stretcher and stair carry chair help make it easier and safer to move patients in and out of the vehicle.

“This ambulance is a wonderful gift to our community and on behalf of the Westport Station, I would like to thank Pub Charity for giving a valuable gift to the staff and the people of our community.”

Martin Cheer, Pub Charity Chief Executive says there is no more direct benefit to a community, irrespective of personal circumstances, than an ambulance and the station, which provides a safe and supportive working environment for the hard-working front-line staff.   

“With these things in mind, Pub Charity is pleased to fund this state-of-the-art piece of medical response vehicle for Westport as well as the upkeep of the station,” Mr Cheer says.  

Hato Hone St John is also dedicating a new health shuttle for the West Coast, which was funded through the Estate of Frank and Myrtle Conway.

Kathy Chubb, Frank and Myrtle’s daughter, says her family is extremely grateful to Hato Hone St John for the care they gave to her late parents.

“We cannot thank St John Ambulance Service enough for all they have done for mum and dad,” Kathy says.

“We are very proud of their gift of the health shuttle to St John, which we know will help benefit the Buller community.”

Karen Sutherland, Hato Hone St John Buller Area Committee Chair says they are grateful to have the volunteer engagement needed to have the Hato Hone St John Kawatiri Health Shuttle available for the Buller Community.

“It's an outcome we have been working toward with Hato Hone St John and Red Cross, and we are excited to be able to provide this service for Buller.” 

Julie Taverner, Hato Hone St John National Community Care Manager, agrees and says the Kawatiri Health Shuttle vehicle has been dedicated to serving the community and has also taken over the service of the Red Cross health shuttle.

“The Hato Hone St John Health Shuttle Service is available for anyone who needs transport to and from medical and health-related appointments.”

The Kawatiri Health Shuttle is based in Westport and provides door-to-door transport between Westport and Greymouth, Ms Taverner says. 

“Our local and fully trained volunteer drivers are really looking forward to supporting their community with this new vehicle,” she says. 

“This service also supports Te Whau Ora to achieve higher levels of appointment attendance. And delivers on supporting timely access to health services and increase the opportunity for independent living, especially amongst older people.” 



  • St John provides emergency ambulance services to 90 percent of New Zealanders and covers 97 percent of the country’s geographical area. 
  • St John is made up of a mix of full-time paid employees and volunteer staff
  • Along with the emergency ambulance service, St John operates a significant number of community health programmes, social enterprises and other activities which help build community resilience.


Amy Milne

St John External Communications Specialist

027 5037523



St John media team


PH 0800 756 334

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