Surf season kicks off with show of support for local Surf Life Saving Clubs

Thursday, 24 October 2019


Today marks the start of the surf season which sees Surf Life Saving New Zealand clubs across the country preparing for a busy summer of keeping Kiwis safe on the beach.

It also marks the re-launch of the Vote the Boat campaign for another year.

Having launched the inaugural Vote the Boat campaign last year, BP has brought back the successful public voting mechanism so Kiwis can vote for the Surf Life Saving NZ (SLSNZ) club they consider most deserving of a brand new Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB).

After a comprehensive application process, four finalist clubs were chosen to submit a one-minute video to sit on the Vote the Boat website and be in to win the $25,000 of rescue equipment donated by BP as part of its annual contribution to SLSNZ.

From 25 October until 8 November, New Zealanders can cast their vote each day for who they believe to be the most deserving.

Debi Boffa, Managing Director of BP New Zealand says, “We’re excited to bring this competition back for 2019 after last year’s success. We were absolutely blown away by the passion that went into the clubs’ video entries last year and this year’s no different. We want Kiwis to have their say and help us decide which community they think will benefit the most from this additional IRB.”

IRBs have played an important role in facilitating more than 22,700 rescues since their introduction.

This makes up a significant portion of the almost 56,000 lives that have been saved since the start of the partnership between BP and Surf Life Saving New Zealand 51 years ago.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says, “We are so grateful for our clubs being offered this opportunity from BP once again in 2019. This competition launching on the first weekend of the lifeguarding season is a timely chance for us to showcase the hard work that our lifeguards do for their communities each year.”

The four Surf Life Saving NZ clubs in the running to win this year’s BP IRB donation are:

BP has been in partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand for 51 years and is ‘In It For Life’ as the catch-phrase goes.

BP’s sponsorship of Surf Life Saving New Zealand includes an annual monetary donation, a new Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) donated to one club each year (valued at $25,000), and an

annual contribution towards fuel costs for every Surf Life Saving club around the country. To find out more about the regional finalists, watch the videos, and to cast your vote, visit


For further information contact:

Leigh Taylor

Communications & External Affairs Manager

BP New Zealand

Phone 021 715 986

About the 51-year BP and Surf Life Saving New Zealand partnership:

The partnership between BP and SLSNZ began shortly after the 1968 Wahine disaster with the donation of a surf boat.

Prior to that, BP's predecessor, Europa, sponsored a surf boat at Worser Bay Surf Life Saving Club called 'Miss Europa'. This boat was used by brave clubbies in horrendous conditions to save some of the 683 passengers and crew that were rescued from the Wahine.

The Europa staff were so impressed by the actions of these clubbies that a nationwide sponsorship began evolving into the celebrated partnership it is today.

BP purchased Europa and continued the partnership. BP’s sponsorship to Surf Life Saving New Zealand includes an annual donation, a new Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) donated to one club each year (valued at $25,000), and an annual contribution towards fuel costs for every Surf Life Saving club around the country.

BP has also launched the BP Leaders for Life programme which is designed to provide lifeguards with a variety of important skills including conflict resolution and leadership skills that can be taken back and applied to their communities and clubs.

BP recognises the skills of surf lifeguards in the BP Rescue of the Month and BP Rescue of the Year awards.

In addition to Vote the Boat, BP has run Every Litre Counts in recent years, a month-long initiative which sees a portion of every litre of fuel sold at BP sites nationwide donated to the charity.

Over the past two years, a total of $670,000 has been donated to SLSNZ through this initiative.