NZ Students Help Keep Rescue Helicopters Flying

The air was filled with the sound of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter as it descended onto the school field. For many seriously injured patients, this sound comes as a beacon of hope. However, this June day in 2014 it was only landing to collect the outstanding result of the fundraising efforts of the 184 students at Westmount School, Waikato Campus in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand. The cheering students watched as the helicopter that had completed 363 rescue missions last year in the Waikato-King Country region landed.


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Students taking a close look at the helicopter

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter organization employs a number of highly-trained pilots and medical crew to carry out precarious missions in some of the most rugged places in New Zealand.

This charity is very thankful for any contribution, great or small. Having never received a donation over $10,000 from a similar charity to the Westmount School, you can imagine the look of disbelief on the pilot and crew’s faces as the total amount of $17, 681.98 was announced! As a reward for the hours of organising that went into the fundraising, the Prefect Team all enjoyed a ride in the helicopter, accompanied by the year 4 student who had raised the most money.

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Students presenting the cheque to the rescue team

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A special reward for the highest fundraiser

This was not the only helicopter benefitting from Westmount fundraising this year. The students from Westmount Kiapara, north of Auckland, also supported their region’s rescue helicopter, which operates under the Northland Emergency Services Trust (NEST).
Students spent months doing fundraising activities. Flyers were dropped in the area, publicizing the cause and students called every house in their community, in an attempt to reach their goal of $25 000. The goal was exceeded, and on the 20th of August 2014, student leaders presented a cheque to the exceptional amount of $28 060 to the NEST representatives in a ceremony at the school. During the ceremony, the NEST personnel told the school that this money would pay for 7-8 hours of rescue operation flying for the NEST helicopter.

The student leaders were given the experience of a simulated helicopter flight at the helicopter base in Whangerei as a reward for their efforts, and two groups from the school enjoyed 7-minute rides in the real rescue helicopter.


From penetrating dense native bush rescuing an injured mountaineer to lowering a Paramedic onto a boat sinking in 5 metre waves off the West Coast, the rescue helicopter service is a very worthy cause for donation in New Zealand. Westmount students have enjoyed the chance to show their appreciation this year.

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Students watching take-off

Letter of Thanks from Phillips Search and Rescue Trust

Letter of Thanks from Phillips Search and Rescue Trust

Letter of Thanks from Chief Pilot

Letter of Thanks from Chief Pilot



13 thoughts on “NZ Students Help Keep Rescue Helicopters Flying”

  1. fredrick9854 says:

    And this is what I call great information. Maintain the good work.

  2. Holly Avluck says:

    What you did is fantastic!! Keep up the good work – we’re proud of all of you!!

  3. lumpy chicken says:

    well done guys and gals! :):):):)
    good to see you help.

  4. RJ says:

    How much was actually raised???
    One cheque says 17k, and another 28k…

    1. happy chappy :) says:

      if you read it through, you will see that 2 separate schools each raised money for the helicopters…so between them they raised an awesome $45, 742!!!!!

      Well done guys!! 🙂

    2. CJ says:

      If you look carefully, you will see that the cheques are given to two different organisations. The $17k one is to Westpac Rescue Helicopters, and the $28k is to NEST (Northern Emergency Services Trust).
      Great effort on the fundraising NZ!

    3. Zibber says:

      Both, one from Northland and the other from Waikato if you read carefully 🙂

  5. Andrew Steyn says:

    Hey – not too bad. 17K.
    Andrew Steyn

  6. "Tinlegs" says:

    That is great. Our area is giving to the Rescue Helicopter too. How about we give to some other charities such as Starship Hospital which does a great work. Keep going N.Z. we’ve been lagging behind!

  7. tom says:

    well done chaps

  8. anomymous says:

    Wow!!! great work u lot…. that sure is a lot of money to a great charity! great charitable work….well done.

  9. Kiwi says:

    good stuff Waikato & Kaipara! you guys are awesome!

    1. sum1 from kaipara says:

      YEAH go Kaipara!! 🙂 28K is pretty insane huh:):)

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