Life Saving Christmas present for Takaka residents


Takaka residents have been given an early Christmas present, but unlike most gifts, it’s one the community hope they’ll never have to use.

A new AED or Automated External Defibrillator has just been installed outside the NBS bank on the town’s main street, meaning it will be accessible 24 hours a day. The idea for the device came from Real Estate agent and St John’s volunteer Belinda Barnes.

“I was reading a story in a magazine about a child whose life had been saved thanks to an AED and I realised how much of an asset a defibrillator could be in Takaka, especially over the summer months when the town’s population doubles.”

The AED was purchased with money from the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund and the town bought a plaque and held a short ceremony to celebrate its installation.

Kyle Van de Pas, Plant manager at Fonterra’s Takaka site was there for the unveiling and says it’s great to see the Co-op helping out in such a practical way.

“I think it’s really important the Grass Roots Fund can get behind initiatives like this and help keep the community and visitors safe and healthy.”

Takaka’s St John Ambulance is staffed entirely by volunteers and while the crew aims to reach all call outs within 10 minutes, Belinda says that’s not always possible.

“Particularly in the case of cardiac arrest it is important people get help quickly, preferably within a few minutes, so having an AED available 24/7 is vital.”

Takaka lies around 90 minutes drive from Nelson at the south-eastern end of Golden Bay and has a population of around 1200 people. There are currently two other AED’s in town but both located in buildings that are locked overnight.