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Police helicopters find a new home at MOTAT

From the earthquakes to terror attacks, Police helicopter legacy will live on.
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For 28 years, veteran helicopter ZK-HKG – Police 1 supported critical Police missions from above. Now decommissioned, the helicopter’s legacy will continue as it joins the Museum of Transport and Technology’s (MOTAT) Aviation Collection.

As part of the Police Air Support Unit, Police 1 provided a vantage point in the sky, patrolling
Auckland’s traffic, attending incidents, and participating in countless search and rescue missions across the country.

The Police 1 helicopter was also deployed to assist local police during the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, and almost a decade later, the 2019 Christchurch terror attack. Being the ‘eyes in the sky’ and manoeuvring ground units into position, Police 1 played a vital role in tracking and apprehending the shooter.  

Decommissioned in 2019, the AS355 Squirrel helicopter will join the MOTAT Collection thanks to Airwork (NZ) Limited.

Wayne Christie, Airwork spokesperson, said it was great to see the helicopters become available for public viewing, having been a landmark of the Tamaki Makaurau skyline for close
to three decades.

“It has been a privilege to introduce our helicopters into the MOTAT collection to honour the
enduring legacy these aircraft have in New Zealand history”.

Police 1 was unveiled at MOTAT’s Aviation Display Hall on 30 June having spent three months in MOTAT’s Aviation Workshop, being reassembled by a dedicated team of engineers and
trained aviation volunteers.

A secondary AS355 Squirrel helicopter, Police 2 has also been gifted to MOTAT and will be unveiled to the public at a later date.

MOTAT Curatorial Research Manager, Belinda Nevin says, “MOTAT is delighted to be acquiring the Airwork helicopters. They represent a significant part of recent transport history”

“MOTAT is proud to be the kaitiaki of these items and their stories for the years to come”.

Police 1 will be available to view from 1 July at the MOTAT Aviation Display Hall at 200 Meola Road, Western Springs. Follow MOTAT on social media or sign up to the Museum’s monthly newsletter for updates on the Police 2 helicopter.

Download images of the helicopters in action here.

Download drone footage of the helicopters being moved to their new home at MOTAT here.