Mr Graeme William Gale, ONZM and Mrs Rosslyn Ann Gale, ONZM for services to aviation and conservation
Graeme Gale and his wife, Ros Gale, established Helicopters Otago, which owns and operates 17 helicopters. He initiated the Speight’s Rescue Helicopter and encouraged local businessmen to form the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust. The Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter now serves Otago and Southland with four dedicated helicopters, able to respond to emergencies 24/7. Over 21 years, it has delivered more than 10,000 patients to the Dunedin Hospital. Mr Gale ran the first night-vision-goggle programme for all emergency rescue helicopter operations in New Zealand and set up the first certified BK117 for Instrument Flight Rules GPS Performance Based Navigation. He and his crews have completed hundreds of aerial pest destruction/eradication operations. Mr Gale invested in the development of purpose-built baiting equipment, which has since been used nationally and internationally.
Ros Gale and her husband, Graeme Gale, established Helicopters Otago, which owns and operates 17 helicopters. She has run the financial and administrative arm of Helicopters Otago and supported Mr Gale to undertake emergency helicopter air ambulance and pest eradication operations. Mr Gale initiated the Speights Rescue Helicopter and encouraged local businessmen to form the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust. Mrs Gale’s business and logistical acumen have been critical for enabling Helicopters Otago’s first-class capability development and the sustainability of the Rescue Helicopter Service. She has played the instrumental role of organising logistics for pest-control operations, coordinating pilots, helicopters and equipment for when suitable weather windows allow the operations to go ahead, while also ensuring the company’s other commitments are met for clients.