Click the subscribe button at the bottom of this page to receive our newsletter and updates, or see our media releasesFor answers to address common queries about resuscitation and education, check out our FAQs. 

2018 Round Up: Resuscitation good news stories

30 November 2018

Resuscitation is always a serious topic, but it can also be a positive one. There have been many stories this year of people surviving heart attacks or cardiac arrests, and community awareness of defibrillation and bystander CPR continues to grow.

Below are some of the best stories we thought are worth highlighting. Let us know if there are others you want to suggest!

Auckland indoor football player Josh Margetts collapsed from a heart attack during training.

It came as a surprise. As his team mate Kareem Osman notes, “you don’t expect a fit 24 year old to go down like that.”

Luckily, Osman is also a registered doctor and knew what to do. Find out what happened next at Newshub.

In other news, Max Montgomery and Andi Traynor were at the beach in Santa Cruz, California, on their first date.

Montgomery, 56, suffered a heart attack, and Traynor performed CPR — their first kiss helping to save his life.

Check out this video of the happy couple talking about the scary moment that eventually led to their romance.

Fast forward to October, and Auckland Mum Lea Tainui was watching her son play softball.

17 year old Oliver suddenly collapsed, suffering a cardiac arrest during his team’s first game of the season.

Umpire Tamati Montgomery saved Oliver by performing CPR until St John ambulance arrived, and paramedics took over with a defibrillator.

Read more on Stuff about the lessons taken to heart by those involved.

Shortly after this, GoodSAM received a welcome profile boost with the story of Brett Palmer.

His heart stopped beating for 14 minutes when he collapsed on a grass berm during his morning walk in Cambridge. 

Local electrician and off-duty St John volunteer Ash Hammond was notified by the app of Mr Palmer’s distress, and raced to the scene.

Joined soon by an ambulance team, they succefully saved Mr Palmer’s life; read on here to learn more about the story.

World Restart a Heart Day received perhaps it’s single greatest publicity boost with a fantastic segment on Duncan Garner’s show.

He interviewed a mother, her son, and her friend, about their experience when the little boy collapsed.

Watch the video here; it’s a great example of bystander CPR in action, and it’s great to know the public were given such good advice about what to do.

Finally, the recently published story of George Scott is a testament to the great work being done by first responders in New Zealand.

Scott suffered a cardiac arrest while driving, causing his car to veer off the road, through a fence and into a paddock. 

36 year old Aran Fairley was driving a few vehicles behind, and sprang into action. 

Using bolt cutters to remove the number 8 wire entangled around Scott’s car, a group of nearby motorists rescued him from the vehicle.

Fairley had learned CPR, and immediately began to perform compressions and rescue breaths before the Fire Brigade turned up. Scott made what was described as a “miraculous” recovery.

It’s great to know people are out there making a difference; no doubt there will be more success stories to come before the year is finished.

Teaching CPR - Compressions and Breaths

30 November 2018

Kevin Nation, Chief Executive, NZRC

With help from Alastair Reith, Communications and Engagement Advisor, NZRC

There is no doubt quality CPR for those in cardiac arrest improves the likelihood of good outcome.

When the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) reviewed the science of CPR in 2017, a number of key recommendations were made. There was agreement that bystanders should perform chest compressions for everyone in cardiac arrest, and those who are trained, able and willing to give rescue breaths should do so at a 30:2 ratio of compressions to breaths1.

ILCOR recognises there are some potential benefits to teaching compression-only CPR. It is simple to learn, and easy to direct someone to do. However, it must also be emphasised that there are significant potential benefits to combining compressions and ventilations for those in asphyxia arrest (commonly seen in infants and children), or in settings where ambulance response time is prolonged.

New Zealand Resuscitation Council (NZRC) guidelines for CPR in New Zealand reflect these scientific principles and values, but what does this mean for the messaging in formal training sessions?

Compression-only CPR is best seen as the first step in a series of resuscitation steps, and as a minimum standard for bystander involvement. It is often used in promotional material and campaigns because of its simplicity of teaching, and as a way to maximise bystander involvement.

Best practice is always determined in part by local context. New Zealand’s bystander participation rates (estimated at around 60%) are reportedly relatively high compared to other areas of the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do better.

New Zealand is an island nation, with a long coastline and strong cultural ties to the water. As the summer months roll in, many will be swimming, surfing or just taking their families to the beach to relax. The dark side of this pastime is a tragically high drowning rate – 92 preventable fatal drownings and 148 hospitalisations in 2017 alone2. There is clear scientific consensus that those who drown are likely to benefit from combining rescue breaths with chest compression, and an over-emphasis on compression-only CPR in public messaging risks confusion.

It is reasonable that promotional campaigns advocate simplicity. However, for formal training sessions, the NZRC believes teaching ventilations is important. Learners should have the opportunity to practice compressions and ventilations on manikins and receive formative feedback. The benefits of breaths to those in cardiac arrest outweigh the simplicity of teaching compressions alone.

It is easy for those training in conventional CPR to dissuade learners from giving rescue breaths. Statements in teaching such as “you don’t have to give the breaths if you don’t want to” or “the rescue breaths are not important” are discouraging. Learners should be encouraged and empowered to give combinations of compressions and breaths when they can, as the best thing they can do for those in need. If a bystander is unable to bring themselves to perform rescue breathing, they should be encouraged to at least do chest compressions.

The goal is to save lives and improve outcomes from cardiac arrest. Increasing bystander participation is a key strategy to achieving this. While any CPR is better than none, the NZRC would encourage those trained in CPR to strive to do what’s best for those they help.


  1. Olasveengen TM, de Caen AR, Mancini ME, Maconochie IK, Aickin R, Atkins DL, et al. . 2017 International consensus on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care science with treatment recommendations summary. Resuscitation (2017) 121:201–4
  2. Water Safety New Zealand, Drowning Prevention Report, 2017


Oceania Pacific Islands Map iStock

Introducing the South Pacific Resuscitation Certificate

1 November 2018

We are pleased to announce the development of a new resuscitation training option for our friends and colleagues in the Pacific Islands. Full course details can be found here.

The South Pacific Resuscitation Certificate can be conducted in the South Pacific region (outside New Zealand and Australia) by NZRC CORE Advanced instructors, using the guidelines set by the New Zealand Resuscitation Council. 

Certification is issued by the CORE Advanced instructor, and we’d expect that the content will be adapted for the local environment. South Pacific Resuscitation Certificate course material can be purchased through the NZRC office.

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council expects instructors will adapt the content of the South Pacific Resuscitation Certificate course to make it relevant to the skill level of learners and the resourcing available in the local environment. The New Zealand Resuscitation Council has not checked or verified the content, and cannot accept responsibility concerning the completeness of an individual course.

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council does not recognise the South Pacific Resuscitation Certificate as equivalent to CORE certification and individual registration bodies or employers should evaluate the content (acquired from the certifying instructor) for the purposes of professional or workplace credentialing.

This is an exciting new opportunity for the further development of training in the region and we invite the directors of these courses to report back on content and participant feedback.

We look forward to continuing strong ties between the New Zealand resuscitation community and our Pacific neighbours.

Update for NLS Instructors

31 October 2018

We are pleased to inform you that a newly designed NLS instructor certificate has been prepared, and will be issued to those who acknowledge the Code of Conduct.

In July 2017 the New Zealand Resuscitation Council approved a new Code of Conduct.  All New Zealand Resuscitation Council instructors are expected to uphold the code.  We ask all NLS instructors who have not already signed the code to do so now.  Once this has been done we will send you the new NLS instructor certificate.  Please click here to read and acknowledge the new code. 

For those who completed the instructor course prior to 2018 your new Instructor certificate will be dated 1 January 2018 to acknowledge that it’s this year you have signed the new code.

Just a reminder that in July 2019 we will be auditing NLS Instructors.  We want NLS Instructors to be teaching at least 3 courses between July 2018 and June 2019 and demonstrating networking and professional development.

We get the teaching information from the participant sheets the Course director completes and sends back to us within a week of the NLS provider course.

The participant sheets can be downloaded here.

For those that attended the NZRC conference this year we will have captured this as a professional development activity. If you have done something that meets the standards described here, you could send us that information now and we will update our records, otherwise we will be asking for this when we do the audit in July next year.

Remember too we are also keen to hear how the courses are going from your participants perspective. We will be sending you reports that let you know how you are going as a teacher but the  way we get this information is from the course feedback forms.  Please ensure you are using the most up-to-date colour feedback forms which are included in all NLS packs.

We only require the participant sheets and the feedback sheets to be returned to us.

NLS Instructor course dates for 2019 have been confirmed and are on our website  at

New ILCOR CoSTR Released

24 October 2018

A new CoSTR is available for review on the website of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. It's title is Methods of Glucose Administration in First Aid for Hypoglycemia.

This CoSTR is a draft version prepared by ILCOR, with the purpose of allowing the public to comment. The comments will be considered by ILCOR. The next version will be labelled “draft" to comply with copyright rules of journals.

Please take a look, and we encourage you to offer your perspective.

Council celebrates 21 years of saving lives

9 March 2018

At its next conference, the New Zealand Resuscitation Council will mark 21 years of improving outcomes for New Zealanders in immediate need of life-saving treatment from emergencies such as cardiac arrest, choking and drowning. Read the full release or see the NZ Resus 2018 - Media Kit.

CONF NZRC Webheader v61 page 001 

Emergency Care Instructor Programme Review

9 February 2018

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council and The Skills Organisation share a vision that a person who collapses, or requires other first aid interventions, shall receive best practice treatment and care. We believe that by reviewing the Emergency Care Instructor programme, we can improve outcomes for people in need.

Find out more about the Emergency Care Instructor Programme Review.

Rachel Allan joins the NZ Resus teamRachel Allan

7 February 2018 

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council has welcomed Rachel Allan as its new Office Administrator. Her background includes working in not-for-profit health and social service organisations, most recently with the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association.

Rachel will be your first port of call when you contact the Council, and we're delighted to benefit from her extensive experience in support and office management roles. 

Kevin Nation named Chief Executive Kevin Nation

20 December 2017 

Kevin Nation has been appointed to the permanent role of Chief Executive of the New Zealand Resuscitation Council. This will take effect on 8 January 2018. Kevin has served the Council for more than ten years, more recently as Acting General Manager, and the Council is delighted to finally formalise Kevin’s role. Read more.... 

Restart a Heart Day 2017

12 October 2017

Restart a Heart Day 2017_IG

Monday 16 October is Restart a Heart Day, a worldwide day to raise public awareness about how to help improve survival from cardiac arrest before emergency services arrive. 

This year’s Restart a Heart Day sees New Zealand taking part for the first time, and the focus is on CPR and AEDs. New Zealand Resuscitation Council member organisations St John, Wellington Free Ambulance, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and the Heart Foundation are all supporting Restart a Heart Day, as is the Health Promotion Agency. Find out more.

Schools urged to plan for cardiac arrest

12 September 2017 AEDs in School fact sheet

The Ministry of Education and New Zealand Resuscitation Council have partnered to develop AEDs in schools, a guidance document for school boards and leaders.

AEDs in schools raises awareness that sudden cardiac arrest may happen to anyone, and it may occur on school grounds or during school activities. Schools are encouraged to prepare for such an emergency and consider the value of an onsite automated external defibrillator (AED). AEDs in schools poses questions such as ‘Should my school purchase an AED?’, ‘Do staff and students know how to do first aid, CPR and use an AED?’, and ‘Do we have a clear and simple plan to access the AED?’ Read more....