13 Jul 2023

New Zealand communities came together to raise a total of $1.4m for New Zealand’s rescue helicopters in a hugely successful Chopper Appeal Month in May.

The total represents a nearly 10% increase on last year’s effort, and includes $245,095 raised in the Auckland region which will directly fund the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Westpac NZ General Manager of Product, Sustainability and Marketing Sarah Hearn thanked everyone who dug deep to help keep our rescue choppers in the air.

“This year’s weather events around the country have underlined how important it is to have help close at hand, no matter where you live. The choppers fly about 25 missions a day around the country and are literally saving lives around the clock,” Ms Hearn says.

“This was my first Chopper Appeal campaign since joining Westpac and I was amazed by the enthusiasm of our people and communities for such an important cause.

“Helping keep communities safe through our support of the Chopper is a big part of who we are. We know many families are doing it tough at the moment, which is why we’re especially grateful for New Zealanders’ generosity this year, whether the donations were large or small.”

Westpac staff and community groups teamed up on creative fundraising efforts from dog shows, movie nights and quiz nights to bike rides and golf tournaments, with all funds raised going to local chopper trusts.

  • Westpac Chopper Bike Ride from Queenstown to Invercargill featuring Westpac Ambassador Richie McCaw and fellow All Black legends Mils Muliaina and Jimmy Cowan raised $160,000.
  • Chopper Street Appeal Day on 4 May (5 May in Canterbury) raised $60,000 nationwide.
  • Westpac Matamata Branch quiz night raised $26,000.
  • Westpac Taupō Golf Tournament raised $7,500, which was divided equally between the Taupō, Hawke’s Bay and Trust Tairāwhiti Eastland Rescue Helicopter to acknowledge their outstanding rescue and recovery efforts in Cyclone Gabrielle.
  • Doggy Day Out in Masterton raised nearly $2,000.

People can donate to Chopper Appeal all year round.  They can find out more information by visiting www.chopperappeal.co.nz.