About Us

About Us

Helicopter Services (BOP) Limited is an aviation company based in Taupo, New Zealand and is part of the Funnell family group of companies.  Since the mid 1980’s it has grown from one helicopter operating out of Taupo, to a fleet of aircraft involved in all types of helicopter operations throughout the Central North Island and beyond, specialising in forestry, agriculture chemical application, filming, construction and lifting.


In 1985, John Funnell was involved in a search operation of an aeroplane accident involving the deaths of management personnel from Philips NZ Ltd.  Following this, Philips NZ Ltd manager John Cooper and John Funnell formed a charitable trust to provide search and rescue services based from Taupo.

John Funnell was instrumental in the development of providing central North Island regions with rescue helicopters, which were fully equipped to high EMS and flight safety standards, while employing experienced pilots who knew the region well.

Helicopter Services (BOP) Ltd supplied aircraft and pilots to the Philips Search & Rescue Trust for 25 years, providing air ambulance services throughout the central North Island with bases in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo.

The company has been involved in some of the longest-range rescues in New Zealand history.  Rescue missions to Campbell Island, located off the bottom of the South Island, and Raoul Island, 1,000 kilometers north of New Zealand, have provided the company with a reputation as specialists in long-range rescues.


The commercial operation of the company operates two AS350 series Squirrel helicopters as well as a Robinson R66 turbine which assist the forestry industry, Department of Conservation and ski fields in the central North Island with lifting, spraying and charter services.

With its specialist in-house chemical and bulk fuel handling facility, the company is able to handle large-scale operations such as applying chemical accurately to forestry compartments.  Purpose built specialist equipment has been designed and constructed in its own engineering workshop to assist in commercial operations.

Expert knowledge of the region, including the forests and mountains, together with a wealth of experience and a focus on safety and efficiency, has provided Helicopter Services (BOP) Ltd with a reputation as the best in their field.