Andrew McMartin |

From the deep south to the Far North, Hato Hone St John is embarking on a nationwide mission to empower 10,000 people with essential lifesaving skills.

As part the organisation’s annual Shocktober campaign, more than 20 New Zealand communities will host 3 Steps for Life training sessions – starting with Stewart Island on 1 October and ending in Kaitaia on 30 October.

Dubbed the Heartbeat Highway tour, the campaign will have a particular focus on equipping people in rural and isolated communities with lifesaving skills such as calling 111, how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Jacci Tatnell, Hato Hone St John Head of Community Education, says Shocktober aims to tackle one of the leading causes of death in New Zealand: cardiac arrest.

“Every day, six people experience cardiac arrest outside hospital care but, sadly, only about one in ten will survive.”

While the statistics are alarming, Ms Tatnell says survival rates can more than double with help from bystanders.

“For every minute without CPR or defibrillation, a patient’s chance of survival falls by ten-to-15 percent.

“Simply put, if more people have the confidence and skills to perform CPR and use an AED, more lives will be saved.”

To help build a “Stronger, healthier and more-resilient Aotearoa”, Ms Tatnell is encouraging as many New Zealanders as possible to sign up for a free 3 Steps for Life session near them.

“Whether you’re in Hokitika, Tauranga or Timaru, we’ll be hosting dozens of events - both large and small - so gather your friends, whanau or colleagues and join us on our lifesaving mission.”

Coinciding with the midpoint of this year’s Shocktober campaign is World Restart a Heart Day on 16 October. Hato Hone St John will be marking the occasion by hosting New Zealand’s highest ever 3 Steps for Life course.

People trained in the 3 Steps for Life are also encouraged to download the GoodSAM app, which notifies users when a patient nearby is experiencing a cardiac arrest, so the app user can administer help.

To date, more than 12,000 trained volunteers have signed up to the app, with GoodSAM responders attending about 10 percent of cardiac arrests in New Zealand.


(More dates, times and locations to be confirmed. Details are subject to change)

1 October – Stewart Island, Oban Fire Station, 10am and 1pm

2 October – Invercargill, Invercargill Licensing Trust (not a public event)

4 October – Gore, Multi Sports Complex, 9am to 3pm

5 October – Queenstown (TBC)

7 October – Timaru, Hato Hone St John Retail Store, 10am to 2pm

7 October – Cambridge, Farmers’ Market

9 October – Amberley, 9am to 12pm

11 October – Mossburn, Lions Club

11 October – Christchurch, South City Mall, 11am to 2pm

12 October – Greymouth, ASB Greymouth, 5pm

13 October – Murchison, Tasman, 11am to 2pm

14 October – Hawera, Taranaki

15 October – Invercargill, St Theresa’s Church 

16 October – Wellington + Auckland special event to be announced

17 October – Kaikoura, Kaikoura Ambulance Station (TBC)

17 October – Palmerston North (not a public event)

20 October – Tauranga, Ambulance Station 

22 October – Taupo, Kinloch Market, 9am to 4pm

23 October – Gisborne (TBC)

25 October – Helensville, Auckland region

25 October – Auckland, Mt Roskill Library, 11am to 1pm 

28 October – Ruakākā, Bream Bay Ambulance Station, 9am to 4pm 

29 October – Russell

30 October – Kaitaia

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