Westpac Rescue Helicopter - Canterbury/West Coast

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Providing critical air rescue services for the people of Canterbury and West Coast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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In trauma cases such as road accidents and medical emergencies, getting emergency care or treatment to a patient at the scene within 60 minutes of an accident or incident increases the patients chance of making a full recovery by over 80% - this is referred to as “the golden hour”.

In remote and isolated areas the rescue helicopters provide a critical lifeline.

The Christchurch based Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the Greymouth based NZCC Rescue Canterbury watch over the lives of more than 600,000 people. We have been operating for over 30 years and have saved thousands of lives in our community. On average, 3 people will place their lives in the hands of the Air Rescue crew each day.

The community are our main supporters and see the inherent value of contributing to saving lives and doing their part to help the community.

The Air Rescue Trust need to raise $4.7 million a year to provide this life-saving service; today and for future generations. This represents a contribution of $5,000 towards each mission (based on 2018 mission numbers). Donations support the operational cost of the service, training costs and medical equipment.

Now more than ever, together we can make a difference and save lives! The Westpac Rescue Helicopter and West Coast NZCC Rescue Helicopter are our community’s safety net. Your donation ensures help from above is always close by.

More about us

The vision of the CWCART is that people across the vast and rugged Canterbury and West Coast regions can live their lives to the full. Assured that if they have an emergency, the Rescue Helicopter will be there to look after them and their families.

The Rescue Helicopter Trust has funded the life-saving Rescue Helicopter in Canterbury and the West Coast since 1989. Presently, the service has successfully undertaken over 14,000 rescue missions. Our partnership with GCH Aviation, the contracted operator of the Rescue Helicopter Service, has allowed us to achieve this.

The Rescue Helicopter Trust need to raise $4.7 million a year to provide this life-saving service.

Our generous supporters see the inherent value of contributing to saving lives and doing their part to help the community. Their generosity enables the Canterbury Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the West Coast NZCC Rescue Helicopter to be available to anyone in Canterbury or in the West Coast if they need specialist care.

Latest update

Update for 14/08/2014  14 August 2014

Our August direct mail campaign is underway. If you elect to donate online, please include your donor reference number from the bottom left corner of your letter. Thanks so much for all the on-going support. We couldn't do it without you :)

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Latest donations

  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 26 Mar 2019



  • Ross W

    Ross W on 21 Feb 2019



  • Csaba T.

    Csaba T. on 08 Jan 2019



  • Caleb Hill

    Caleb Hill on 02 Jan 2019



  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 17 Dec 2018



Who's involved?

Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust's avatar
Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust (Charity)

Registered Charity A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
Tax credit Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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