Rescue Helicopters

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter provides a vital 24/7 service that makes a life or death difference for thousands of New Zealanders each year. You never know when you or a loved one may need it.

We're excited to announce that the 2014 Westpac Chopper Appeal has raised $1.38 million for rescue helicopters across the country. 

About the service

Rescue helicopters operate a vital rescue service that’s on-call for all New Zealanders, virtually anywhere in the country.

These helicopters are like a fully equipped intensive care unit in the sky. They’re equipped to deal with any situation – from a defibrillator for a premature baby, to full life-support systems.

Rescue helicopters are used when:

• a patient is very sick or badly injured, and medics believe getting to hospital quickly will make a big difference

• an accident has occurred in a difficult or remote location

Westpac’s support

This year’s Westpac Chopper Appeal has raised $1.38 million for rescue helicopters across the country. All donations from the Westpac Chopper Appeal will be distributed back to the 16 rescue chopper services across the country with the money collected in each region going back to the local Trust.

A big thanks to who dug deep and contributed, New Zealanders have again shown amazing support for their local rescue helicopters. Your generosity continues to ensure this vital emergency service can stay in the air and carry out life-saving rescue missions every day.

We’ve been a proud sponsor of the Rescue Helicopter Service for over 30 years. Here’s what we do:

  • we’re the main sponsor of the Auckland, Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury rescue helicopter services
  • we’re an associate sponsor of the West Coast, Tauranga, Taupo, Palmerston North, Rotorua and Nelson rescue helicopter trusts
  • we provide staff and funding to promote and manage the annual nationwide fundraising campaign, the Westpac Chopper Appeal.

Westpac’s goal is to raise $1 million every year for rescue helicopters around New Zealand.

Share the stories

More than 5,000 missions are undertaken by rescue choppers each year. Find out about the difference it can make:

  • Visit and read some of the real-life stories of New Zealanders grateful for the “second chance” they’ve been given following their own helicopter rescue. You can also watch Rescue 1 episodes on TVNZ On Demand.
  • Connect with us on Facebook. Go to to share or read some incredible rescue stories, and keep up-to-date with the latest Chopper events.

How can you help?

  • Make a donation. You don’t need to wait for our annual appeal – donations are always welcome at any time! You can:

> donate when you visit your nearest Westpac branch

> make an online donation using a credit/debit card

> log-in to Westpac Online Banking to transfer your donation

  • If you have a Westpac credit card that earns Hotpoints, you can donate your hotpoints - this is a great way to show your support. Simply donate some or all of your Hotpoints within Westpac Online Banking.

Donations are always welcome, but it’s not all about the money. Even raising awareness about the role of rescue helicopters can help us save more lives.

  • Find out more about your regional service in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Canterbury
  • Keep in touch with us on Facebook, at and bookmark our website,, so you can check in regularly.