The Ohakea Air Base is about 60 Km north-ish of us, if you fly a straight line. That would take an NH90 Helicopter about 15 minutes at moderate speed. Also, we’re pretty much on the flight path between Ohakea and Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Consequently, we see numerous military aircraft coming and going.
Today though a large helicopter arrived and hovered for several minutes over a spot not far away. It was remarkable flying: it didn’t move at all. After a while it backed up a little and then hovered a whole lot more in a couple of positions. I was trying to determine what it could be doing, but without luck. At one point it did seem to pull something perhaps person-sized aboard through the open door.
It did an awful lot of hovering, in a couple of spots and mainly just behind trees, buildings or sand dunes, though at one point it came and did a low altitude circuit directly overhead. Eventually it flew off towards Wellington.
I can only conclude it was some kind of training exercise, though why it picked our village for that, who knows?
This all was definitely unusual behaviour: generally they just fly past.
I took photos, of course. Zoomed in, I think I can make out the Airforce identification mark.