Sustainability stories.

Chopper Country – Helping Kiwis be Kiwis.


New Zealand’s rescue helicopters provide a vital safety net for all people. Performing over 7,000 missions last year and operating nationwide through 15 local rescue helicopter services, many of the rescue choppers act as flying intensive care units. Along with remote rescue, the highly trained specialist crews have been called upon to perform critical hospital transfers, attend emergency births, and respond to car and boating accidents. In fact they may attend any type of emergency where rapid response or difficult location is a factor. And they’ll do this any time of the day or night, every day of the year, right across the country.

Westpac's support.

We’ve been a proud sponsor of Westpac Rescue Helicopters for over 35 years. Here’s how we help:

  • We’re the principal sponsor of the Auckland, Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury rescue helicopter services.
  • We’re an associate sponsor of the West Coast, Tauranga, Taupo and Palmerston North rescue helicopter services.
  • We provide people and funding to promote and manage the annual nationwide fundraising campaign the Westpac Chopper Appeal. We proudly support all rescue helicopters in New Zealand through our appeal.

This year was our 14th annual Westpac Chopper Appeal and we exceeded our goal to raise $1 million by raising $1.26 million.

In March more than 100 amateur athletes swam 20km from Waiheke to Auckland City, raising over $150,000 in the process. The event was founded and organised by Westpac employee Olaf Adam, supported by dozens of Westpac volunteers, safety kayakers and boat skippers.

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Fundraising achievements.

  • Former Afghani refugee, polio survivor and café owner Karim Rostami completed the whole distance and raised nearly $6,000.
  • David Mitchell, who was rescued by the Chopper seven years ago, teamed up with former world champion triathlete Rick Wells and raised over $26,000.
  • Cook Strait swimmer Jono Riddler raised over $3,000 for the Rescue Helicopter, which had previously saved his brother after a serious accident at Piha
  • Ex-All Black legend Sir John Kirwan and his swimming buddy Adam Clark conquered the gulf, together for a donation total of over $8,000.
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