Rural ambulance assisted by taxi driver

Kuha says that if it weren't for a local taxi driver getting behind the wheel of the ambulance and thus allowing the officer to assist him, his story could have been very different.

At home recovering today Mr Kuha expressed his awe of the St John Ambulance service.

He says, “they all appear to be doing their work on a shoestring” he says after witnessing the work ethic of the ambulance officers he has nothing but praise for them.

The St John Ambulance, District Operations Manager says. “given the remoteness of lots of places across Northland it’s imperative we get our patients to the right care in a timely fashion.”

It was only by luck that Dan Korewha, a taxi driver and former St John volunteer turned up at the scene where Kuha was being treated.

Due to Mr Kuha’s condition the officer was forced to ask for Mr Korewha’s assistance, he agreed and drove the ambulance to the Bay of Islands.

A charitable trust that operates nationwide, St Johns has done a lot of analysis to improve performance, but they don't have a bottomless pit of funding and resources.

It's also a sign of harsh economic times that fewer people are coming forward to volunteer their time.

Issues like this arising in small communities have prompted  calls to Government to take a look at the sole positions they place integral community services in small and isolated communities.

Reporter: Dean Nathan.