bp’s partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand officially extended to 55 years

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Press Release

9 Dec, 2020

bp has confirmed the extension of its partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) for another three years. The relationship began in 1968, with the extension to 2023 marking the 55-year anniversary of what is believed to be New Zealand’s longest unbroken community partnership.

The association between bp and SLSNZ began shortly after the 1968 Wahine disaster. Prior to that, Europa, subsequently purchased by bp, 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 team were so impressed by the brave actions of these clubbies that a nationwide partnership began. bp continued the partnership following its purchase of Europa which evolved to become the celebrated partnership it is today.

The partnership extension comes at a time where Surf Lifeguards around the country are gearing up for what could be the busiest lifesaving season on record as New Zealanders head into a summer of domestic tourism.  

bp New Zealand’s Managing Director Debi Boffa, says, “We are delighted to announce that our partnership has been extended to 55 years and are extremely proud to continue our long-standing association with the Surf Life Saving New Zealand team who work incredibly hard to keep us all safer on beaches all across the country.”

bp’s partnership includes an annual donation to Surf Life Saving New Zealand, an annual contribution of fuel for every Surf Life Saving Club around the country, support for the Leaders for Life programme, plus the donation of a new, fully equipped Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) to a deserving club each year through their ‘Vote the Boat’ campaign. bp also recognises the skills of surf lifeguards with bp gift cards for clubs in the bp Rescue of the Month and bp Rescue of the Year awards.

SLSNZ CEO, Paul Dalton, says the charity is “hugely grateful” for bp’s continued support.

“It’s incredible to think that bp has supported our organisation’s mahi for more than half a century. As a charity, we rely on the generosity of the wider community and our partnership with bp has truly stood the test of time,” he says.

“We’d like to thank bp for continuing to stand alongside our volunteer Surf Lifeguards so they can keep their focus on saving lives.”

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bp’s partnership with 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.

The bp Leaders for Life programme provides 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 also recognises the skills of Surf Lifeguards in the bp Rescue of the Month and bp Rescue of the Year awards.

To celebrate the 50-year partnership in 2018, bp introduced the Every Litre Counts campaign, which saw a portion of every litre of fuel sold at bp sites nationwide donated to SLSNZ. Across the last three summers, bp has donated an additional $908,670 to SLSNZ, all thanks to New Zealanders filling up at bp retail sites nationwide.

Following three successful summers of Every Litre Counts, bp and SLSNZ are working on new ways to showcase the partnership that will engage the surf community and the New Zealand public - so watch this space for 2021 and beyond!

For further information contact: Leigh Taylor, Communications and External Affairs Manager | 021 715 986