The summer surf lifesaving patrol season will officially launch next weekend, marked by the delivery of fuel cards to Surf Clubs all around the country.
Entering its 48th year as a partner of Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ), BP has again distributed a $500 gift card to every club across New Zealand to help with fuel costs for the upcoming season.
BP NZ Director Matt Elliott said there is a BP store in "almost every community" where a Surf Life Saving Club operates.
"We appreciate that day-to-day operational costs are a real challenge and it's great that BP is in a position to provide a direct benefit to every Surf Life Saving Club across the country," he said.
New Zealand may be in for a great summer, but lots of sunshine brings lots of swimmers and this really puts Surf Lifeguards to the test.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand said the BP partnership was very important because the country's 74 local clubs are run by volunteers and heavily reliant on donations.
Sumner Surf Life Saving Club IRB Officer Derek Shanks said BP fuel was used for IRBs, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), tractors and other equipment that helps keep the local community safe every summer.
"We really rely on this support from BP each year and we're truly grateful for their ongoing support," he said.
Surf Life Saving NZ CEO Paul Dalton said BP was also committed to its IRB donation programme which sees one lucky club receive a new IRB each year.
"Over 60% of our rescues involve an IRB - they're really important, particularly in testing conditions, because they enable the lifeguards to get to and from the shore quickly and more safely than by swimming.
"BP has been with us for decades but our partnership isn't just about fuel and IRBs - they have proven time and again how committed they are to the safety of the community on our beaches," he said.
Mr Elliott said the relationship with SLSNZ is believed to be the longest corporate-community partnership in New Zealand history.
"That's a pretty unique and special thing to be able to say," he
"We supply fuel and donate IRBs to support SLSNZ but we want to do more than that, so we have also launched the BP Leaders for Life programme which is designed to teach Surf Lifeguards important life skills and provide them with the necessary tools to tackle a variety of issues.
"BP Leaders for Life delivers Clubbies with skills like conflict resolution, collaboration and leadership and can be taken back to participants' communities and clubs - really delivering longer term value."
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823