Gerard Campbell |

Hato Hone St John is seeking public support as it launches its annual fundraising appeal -Light the Way.

The organisation aims to raise $4 million this month to fund 14 urgent repair and new build projects for its ambulance stations.

Many of Hato Hone St John’s stations, built decades ago, are now feeling the strain as New Zealand’s population grows and demand for emergency ambulance services increases.

"Every time a New Zealander calls for an ambulance, the lifesaving care they need begins at an ambulance station,” says Peter Bradley, Chief Executive at Hato Hone St John.

"But as demand for emergency medical care continues to grow, some of our older ambulance stations haven’t been updated in decades and simply don’t have the space or amenities to help frontline crews prepare for each call-out.”

Ambulance stations are often hidden in communities, yet they provide a crucial role for our frontline teams and the communities they serve.

Stephen Potter, a South Auckland Ambulance Officer at Hato Hone St John, explains that,

“The work we do can be challenging. We rely on ambulance stations to rest, restock, and recharge after those tough calls we handle every day.

“It’s so important to have a place where we can clear our heads and connect with each other for support, making sure we’re always ready for the next call. But with limited space, getting that crucial downtime can be tough."

Demand for emergency services in New Zealand has steadily increased over the past ten years due to an increasing and aging population, and the additional pressures of extreme weather and health events.

The funding that Hato Hone St John receives does not include the upgrading or replacing of ambulance stations. The funds raised through the Light the Way Appeal will directly support the construction of 14 ambulance stations in areas where there is either no station, or the existing station is no longer fit for purpose.

Locations include Whangarei, Auckland, Waihi, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Pahiatua, Nelson, Rangiora, Akaroa, Oamaru and Invercargill.

"The call-out rate has doubled in the past decade across these 14 locations," Bradley explains.

"To meet this rising demand, we've increased our ambulance fleet. However, many older ambulance stations are cramped, or not purpose-built, forcing many ambulances to park on roadsides which has directly impacted the efficiency of our frontline teams."

“Every donation, no matter the size, will make a significant difference,” Bradley continues.

“By donating to the appeal, you can help provide a place for our frontline crews to reset,   restock and recharge.

"Right now, we need your help to build and repair ambulance stations across Aotearoa, so we’re ready to respond.”

Donate today and help Light the Way for the Emergency Ambulance Service that could save the life of you or someone you love. Donations can be made online at www.lighttheway.org.nz


Hato Hone St John media team

PH: 0800 756 334 | E: media@stjohn.org.nz


• Giving Day is a fundraising event as part of the Light the Way Appeal and will run from 3pm Thursday 20 June until 3pm Friday 21 June. Every dollar donated will be matched by Hato Hone St John’s major sponsors.

• Giving Day aims to raise $2m to help Hato Hone St John’s most critical building projects get to the next stage.

• Over the next 2-5 years Hato Hone St John needs to raise over $40m to get these 14 Ambulance Station projects through to completion, and there are many more scheduled into the future.

• The 14 projects are as follows:

o Whangarei

o Auckland – Mt Roskill

o Auckland – Waiheke Island

o Auckland – Pukekohe

o Auckland – Howick

o Waihi

o Hamilton

o Palmerston North

o Pahiatua

o Nelson

o Rangiora

o Akaroa

o Oamaru

o Invercargill


  • Hato Hone St John provides emergency ambulance services to 90 percent of New Zealanders and covers 97 percent of the country’s geographical area.
  • Hato Hone St John is made up of a mix of full-time paid employees and volunteer staff.
  • Along with the emergency ambulance service, Hato Hone St John provides a significant number of community health programmes and initiatives which help build community resilience. They include Health Shuttles, Caring Caller, Friends of the Emergency Department, St John Youth, St John in Schools, and Therapy Pets.
  • Hato Hone St John also delivers event health services, medical alarm services, first aid training and operates retail stores across the country.
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