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BLESSED: At the blessing of the new health shuttle were, front row from left, Phil Sue, Bill Cutler, Tim Armstrong, Pam Rosenberg, Jen Hutchings, Pat Futter, Cath Wells, Merv Falconer, Graeme Harris and the Rev Helen Milne. At the back were Jenny Glen, Bryan Fraser and Cam Ronald.


Ōtaki has a new St John health shuttle, providing more space and a smoother ride to hospital and medical appointments.

The new VW Crafter received a formal blessing by chaplain the Rev Helen Milne – with many local St John volunteers in attendance – on October 2 at the Rotary Hall. It replaces one of St John’s two Ōtaki shuttles that had run its course after recording more than 400,000km. The Crafter has a rear hoist capable of lifting two people in wheelchairs, accommodating them securely at the back. There’s room for another five passengers in the main cab.

For those who like to know the specifications, the Crafter is a 2-litre turbo diesel. It’s an automatic drive and has a high roof to make it easy for passengers to move around inside.

The purchase was made possible with the assistance of the Ōtaki Market Growers Charitable Trust and Ōtaki Women’s Community Club.

The Ōtaki shuttles get plenty of use. They operate Monday to Friday, clocking up about 120,000km a year. The service, usually to Levin or Palmerston North, is for people who need medical treatment, consultations with specialists, specialist dental care, eyesight and related disorders, renal dialysis, dementia or other age-related care.

Users can book through a phone messaging service, which is returned by the team leader, confirming pick-up time and place

To book, phone 06 368-6369. For enquiries, email

New St John shuttle for Ōtaki



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