St John installs ten defibrillators across Ngati Porou Marae

Jess Miller |

Ten rurally isolated marae across the East Coast of the North Island will receive Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) from St John this week, as part of a project to reduce the number of cardiac arrest fatalities associated with Maori.

The initiative follows the release of St John’s annual Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest report, which highlights trends associated with cardiac arrests that happen outside of a hospital environment.

St John’s Director of Community Health Services, Sarah Manley, says findings from the report show Maori are disproportionately represented in cardiac arrest statistics and are 20 times more likely to suffer a cardiac arrest than other ethnic groups.

“Installing these AEDs is part of a broader focus we are putting on the East Coast to improve community health outcomes. As part of this project we’ve worked with Ngati Porou Hauora and Te Rungananui o Ngati Porou to identify marae that are in most need of AEDs on site,” says Ms Manley.

The initiative is backed up with training and a ‘3 Steps for Life’ programme, which teaches participants how to perform CPR and use AEDs.

The ten AEDs will be installed in marae from Whangara up to Te Araroa including marae in Waipiro Bay, Ruatoria & Rangitukia, and follows 28 that have already been distributed across the country since 2015.

St John’s Medical Director Dr Tony Smith says around 1,800 people every year are treated for a cardiac arrest that occurs in the community and survival is largely due to the quick actions of bystanders who initiate CPR and use an AED within the first few minutes.

“The more people who know how to do CPR and have access to an AED in the community, the greater the chances of patient survival are. For every minute without CPR or defibrillation, a patient’s chance of survival falls by 10-15 per cent,” says Dr Smith.

How does an AED work?

An AED works by safely delivering a short, powerful electric shock to the heart, helping the heart to regain its natural rhythm.

Automatic voice prompts guide the user through the procedure, enabling efficient CPR to be administered in conjunction with AED use.

The locations of AEDs around the country are registered at, where you can search via an online map to see where your nearest AED is.

A further 37 AEDs will be installed in marae across the country in the coming months.

*The marae to receive AEDs this week includes:

  • Whangara Marae, Whangara
  • Hinetamatea Marae, Anaura Bay
  • Iritekura Marae, Waipiro Bay
  • Whareponga Marae, Whareponga
  • Te Horo Marae, Ruatoria
  • Reporua Marae, Reporua
  • Ruatauparae Marae, Tuparoa
  • Hinepare Marae, Rangitukia
  • Awatere Marae, Te Araroa  
  • Matahi o te Tau Marae, Te Araroa


Media Contact:

Jess Miller

St John Communications Advisor – Central Region

M 027 559 2655





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