22 Jul 2022

Westpac NZ has worked with Kiwi communities to deliver one of the strongest ever Westpac Chopper Appeal campaigns, with over $1.28m raised for rescue helicopter trusts across the country.

This is an increase of 16% on last year’s total, and includes over $316,000 raised in the Auckland region which will directly fund the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Westpac NZ CEO Catherine McGrath thanked everyone who donated to this year’s national fundraising haul.

“With the cost of living continuing to increase, it’s so impressive to see this kind of generosity and spirit from the community,” Ms McGrath says.

“This year we’ve seen some really creative fundraising efforts ranging from table tennis tournaments to spin classes, and some feats of great physical endurance.

“We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has contributed their time or dollars to the Westpac Chopper Appeal this year, no matter how big or small. Every dollar helps keep the network of rescue helicopters in the air so they can continue their lifesaving work.”

Fundraising events have been organised by Westpac staff and community groups, and have included:

  • Westpac Chopper bike ride from Queenstown to Invercargill raising $46,000
  • 10th annual Matamata Branch quiz night raising over $30,000
  • 17-year old endurance swimmer Caitlin O’Reilly completing a double crossing of Lake Taupo raising $7,700

Donations are welcomed throughout the year and can be made at www.chopperappeal.co.nz or any Westpac branch.

Editor’s note: There are 15 rescue helicopter trusts nationwide:

Northland Emergency Services Trust (Northland Rescue Helicopters), Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust (Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopters), Philips Search and Rescue Trust - Bay of Plenty  (TECT Rescue Helicopter), Philips Search & Rescue Trust - Waikato-King Country-Coromandel (Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter), Philips Search & Rescue Trust - Taupo and Central Plateau and Lakes Region (Greenlea Rescue Helicopter), Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust (Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter), Eastland Helicopter Rescue Trust - Gisborne (Trust Tairāwhiti Rescue Helicopter), Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust (Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter), Philips Search and Rescue Trust - Manawatu-Whanganui (Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter), Life Flight Trust, Wellington-Marlborough (Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter), Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust (Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter), Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust - Canterbury (Canterbury Westpac Rescue Helicopters), Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust - West Coast (ROA Mining Rescue Helicopter), Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust (Otago Regional Rescue Helicopters), Lakes District Air Rescue Trust (Lakes District Rescue Helicopters)