Hato Hone St John opens new fit-for-purpose Taihape station

Louise Mukherji-Powell |

Hato Hone St John’s Taihape team celebrated the official opening of their brand new ambulance station on Saturday 17 February; with a gifting, blessing and unveiling at the new 8 Linnet Street address.

Liz Garmey, Hato Hone St John Area Operations Manager – Central South is delighted that the new facility is finally operational.

“Following sixteen years of planning and fundraising, we’re just excited to get in there and utilise a station that will provide the Taihape community with the resources it deserves. Our hard-working teams also deserve to operate out of a building that is fit for purpose, so they’re looking forward to getting started. We can’t thank our donors and fundraisers enough for the work they’ve put in to make this happen.”

Sandy Jennings, Chairperson for the Hato Hone St John Taihape Area Committee, officially gifted the building on Saturday, which was then received by Chancery Appointee (Dame of the Order) Sonya Marshall. Together, Sandy and Sonya did the unveiling and Chaplains Kerrie Fallan and Hemi Dehar conducted the blessing and prayers.

Ms Jennings, who is also a paramedic, reminisced about the journey the local team has been on to get to this point. “We’ve been operating out of a rented 1920s bungalow, relying on just a carport to protect the ambulance. It got very cold in the winer, especially when we had to wash the vehicle outdoors due to having insufficient space under cover.

“Our new building is a proper ambulance station, complete with an essential back-up generator in case we lose power.”

The local community have been instrumental in bringing the new station to life. Construction of the new build was led by Whanganui company W & W Construction Ltd, which also completed the local Fire and Emergency New Zealand station. Work commenced in February 2023, following a massive fundraising effort from the local community – including local pensioner Warrick Reardon, who donates a generous $100 a month to his local Hato Hone St John area committee.

The new Taihape ambulance station will now be permanently based at 8 Linnet Street, Taihape.


  • 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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