Richard was born and raised in Whangarei, and his genealogy (whakapapa) link him to the Ngapuhi Iwi. After schooling at Whangarei Boys’ High School he left to take up a career in the Army, a career which lasted 33 years. On leaving the military Richard has worked for the Ministry of Social Welfare, Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Maori Development. He retired two years ago and fills in his time developing his Marae. He is a native speaker of te reo Maori. Richard is well connected to the many local hapu and the community in general. He is keen to develop Northland Rescue Helicopter’s (NRH) relationship with Maori in the region. “It’s an opportunity that enables me to work alongside NRH and to share their operational achievements and successes with iwi and hapu in the north. Considering how immensely important NRH service is to the region I’m looking forward to promoting their core services as well as aeronautics as a career among Maori. NRH services cover remote and isolated areas where a large percentage of Maori reside it is therefore incumbent on me to ensure Maori play their part in the fund raising stakes.
Anthony Blundell is a passionate Northlander who had his first experience with the Northland Rescue Helicopter through working as an emergency rescue volunteer at the Ruawai Volunteer Fire Brigade.
“The operational excellence and quality of service that the Northland Rescue Helicopter offered at the numerous incidents our brigade attended is for all to see. They are simply the best!” he says.
With support and encouragement from his family, friends and work colleagues, Anthony was happy to become a Northland Rescue Helicopter ambassador and looks forward to helping make a difference in growing the helicopters profile in Northland and beyond.
As well as volunteering at the fire brigade for the past 16 years, Anthony has active roles in the Ruawai Boating Club, Northern Wairoa Cricket Club, Ruawai College Board of Trustees, the Ruawai Community Sports Club and is a board member of United Fresh NZ Inc., the organisation behind 5+ADay.
When he’s not helping out his local community, Anthony is the Managing Director of Kaipara Kumara Ltd, situated in the Ruawai Township. The company is one of Northland’s premier kumara pack-houses with an annual output approaching 5,000 tonnes and employing a little over 30 permanent staff.
Popular Whangarei radio host, John Markby, has been a long-time supporter of the Northland Rescue Helicopter and to make it official he has come on board as an ambassador.
“Over the years, being on the radio has allowed me to connect with people in our community, which I am thankful for.
“It’s a great position to be able to promote and fundraise for a wide range of charitable and not-for-profit organisations in Northland, including the Northland Rescue Helicopter,” he says.
John began his radio career in Dunedin in 1979, after working as a teacher for three years. He started with Breakfast Radio in Wanganui in 1983 before moving to KCC FM (now More FM) in Whangarei three years later.
Joey Yovich has a strong desire to give something back to the local community and the good people of Northland, which is why he became an ambassador for the Northland Rescue Helicopter in late 2015.
The former Northland cricket star says when a close cricketing friend suffered a severe heart attack, he was taken to the Whangarei helicopter base and flown immediately to Auckland Hospital by the Northland Rescue Helicopter.
“The time saved in the air rather than spending it on the road meant he got critical and timely medical attention and amazingly, he lived.
“When you see what the Northland Rescue Helicopter has done over the last 26 years, and what they did for my friend, it’s a real honour to be involved and help raise money for this charitable service,” he says.
As well as having a career based around professional sport for the past 17 years, Joey has a qualification in architecture and leadership experience in property construction industries and businesses.