Locals asked to give to rescue helicopter service

Westpac is launching its Chopper Appeal Month to celebrate and support New Zealand’s rescue helicopters. Photo supplied.

No matter where in the country you live, if you get into trouble, help from above is probably closer than you think.

Westpac is launching its Chopper Appeal Month to celebrate and support New Zealand’s rescue helicopters, which flew 7374 missions nationwide last year.

That includes exactly 1000 flights in the Auckland region, from the Coromandel Ranges to Auckland’s west coast beaches.

The Chopper Appeal aims to raise funds and awareness for the rescue helicopter services, with all donations going back to the region where they were collected.

Westpac NZ general manager of consumer banking and wealth, Simon Power, says accidents can happen anywhere – including close to home.

“Chopper Country extends from our rugged mountain ranges and sweeping coastlines to right over the back fence,” he says.

“Whether it’s a medical event on a ski slope or a crash on a bike trail just down the road, choppers are there for Kiwis when something unexpectedly goes wrong.

“It’s comforting to know that help is close by, no matter where we are. That’s why we’re proud to have partnered with the choppers for more than 35 years.”

This vital service is funded by a combination of individual donations, fundraising activities and sponsors like Westpac.  A total of $1.22 million was raised last year and the goal is to beat that again in 2019.

“We rely on the kindness of our community to help those who will require our life-saving services. We’re really grateful for the Greater Auckland, Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel communities’ support,” says Mark Newman, CEO of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

“An average mission costs $5000, so every donation plays a crucial part in our next rescue. This support helps us to help others in their greatest time of need.”

The 15th annual Westpac Chopper Appeal will run throughout May. It’s supported by fundraising activities in schools and community centres, as well as a nationwide street appeal today, Thursday May 9.

Westpac funds the marketing and administration costs of the Appeal, and distributes all of the funds raised back to donors’ local rescue helicopter trust.

  • Click here for more information and to donate.

Ways you can donate this Chopper Appeal:

  • At any Westpac Branch
  • Online at  www.chopperappeal.co.nz
  • Text your postcode to 2449 to make a $3 donation.