VIDEO: Westpac Ambassador Willie Apiata VC kicks off 2017 Chopper Appeal

VIDEO: Westpac Ambassador Willie Apiata VC kicks off 2017 Chopper Appeal

More than 7,500 rescue missions were undertaken by local rescue helicopters around New Zealand last year.

As part of this month’s nationwide Westpac Chopper Appeal, the 16 Rescue Helicopter Trusts around the country are asking Kiwis to give generously to get behind their local helicopter.

SEE ALSO: Riders prepare for the 7th annual Westpac Chopper Qt2Inv2017 Bike Ride

In a video promoting this year’s appeal, which started today, Westpac Ambassador Willie Apiata VC introduces Amanda Pepper to the team who saved the life of her baby girl Willow – first to the paramedics, then to Albert Heimuli, one of the thousands of New Zealanders who together donate more than $1million each year to keep the country’s 16 Rescue Helicopter Trusts aloft.

The Chopper Appeal aims to raise funds and continued awareness for the rescue helicopter services with all donations going back to the region they are collected from.

Westpac GM Marketing, Andy Kerr, says the helicopters provide such a vital service that saves lives on a daily basis.

“The country’s rescue helicopter services often make a life or death difference for many New Zealanders. These choppers provide a dedicated 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service.”

Mr Kerr says the reality is there will be thousands of people around the country that will need to be rescued this year and money donated is going directly into the operational costs of making these helicopter rescues possible.

“Big or small - every donation counts. Your generosity will make a tangible difference in saving people’s lives.”

The choppers are called on when medics think getting a patient to hospital quickly will make a big difference. They also assist with accidents in difficult locations and support search and rescue and fire operations.

The funding for this unique service comes from individuals in the community, fundraising activities, and sponsors like Westpac - a proud supporter for over 35 years.

Running throughout May, the Westpac Chopper Appeal is supported by fundraising activities in schools and community centres, as well as a nationwide street appeal on Friday May 5.

Donations Save Lives

When we think about safety, we think about the people we love. The choppers don’t just save people. They save sisters. Grandads. Sons. And best friends.

So this year, when you donate online or via text, Westpac are giving you the opportunity to upload a picture of yourself or someone you love onto the side of The People’s Chopper.


Put someone's face you love on The People's Chopper

Your image will be amongst the many loved ones and generous people of New Zealand, who have shown their support to help keep our Choppers in the air.

Without your donation, the thousands of yearly rescues just couldn't happen, as each mission generally costs around $5000.

In some areas of New Zealand the choppers are out on up to 10 missions a day!

For all kinds of medical emergencies, the choppers and paramedic staff work tirelessly to keep New Zealand safe, and we want to share your support by giving you a spot on The People’s Chopper.

Come on New Zealand - donate now to keep the choppers flying for those you care about.

Go to for more information and to donate.

Ways you can donate this Chopper Appeal:

-  At any Westpac Branch
-  Online at
-  Text your postcode to 2449 to make a $3 donation.*

Westpac is the principal sponsor of the Auckland, Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury Westpac rescue helicopters. The annual Westpac Chopper Appeal helps raise funds for all regional rescue helicopter services around New Zealand.

SEE ALSO: Riders prepare for the 7th annual Westpac Chopper Qt2Inv2017 Bike Ride

*For text donations, additional network charges may apply. 100% of your donation goes to your local chopper. Terms and conditions apply, to view please visit

, , ,