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The Life Flight Story
A boy was born next to the runway in Wellington, his name was Peter Button. He grew up watching planes and helping out at the local fire station.
From that runway, Peter’s passion for flying became a vision for a better way for New Zealand.
Peter witnesses the sinking of the Wahine ferry and realizes a helicopter could have saved lives.
He thinks: “there has to be a better way”. These words would inspire him to create Life Flight.
There has to be a better way
Plumber to pilot
Plumber to Pilot
Peter Button obtains his helicopter license and purchases the Hughes 300, thanks to the generosity of Mark Dunajtschik.
Plumber to pilot
A lasting partnership begins
Thanks to the initiative of PR Manager, Bill Day, the Commercial Bank of Australia (later becoming Westpac) begins sponsorship of the rescue helicopter.
The Life Flight Trust is established
Peter Button and neurosurgeon, Dr Russell Worth officially launch Life Flight, which would go on to help over 36,000 New Zealanders.
Peter Button, Ronald Woolf, and Dion Savage tragically die in a helicopter crash while tracking an escaped prisoner.
Peter was only 58 years old.
My dad would be blown away by what Life Flight has grown into.
Community rallies behind Life Flight
Donations poured in to continue Peter’s vision. And it is thanks to the generosity of the community that Life Flight continues saving lives today.
Please help us keep Peter’s legacy alive.
Read more about Meet the team
Meet the team
The Life Flight team is made up of highly trained, passionate and dedicated people. Learn about them and the diversity of their roles.
Read more about Funding
Without the generous support of the community, Life Flight simply wouldn't be here today. Life Flight is a not-for-profit that relies on community donations to keep flying. Thank you for your generosity - it truly saves lives.
Read more about Red Angel
Join our community of monthly donors sending help to those in need. 'Red Angel' is the name given to our community of active and dedicated donors. Its more than just giving once a month - its making a tangible difference.