New Zealanders Vote Levin - Waitarere Surf Life Saving Club the 2020 Winner

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Media Release
24 November 2020

bp and Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) have today announced Levin-Waitarere Surf Life Saving Club, from Manawatu-Wanganui, as the winner of bp’s 2020 Vote the Boat campaign.

Levin-Waitarere Surf Life Saving Club will receive a brand-new Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB), worth $25,000, ahead of the summer season, as well as a Mercury outboard engine, trailer, fuel bladder, rescue tube, two lifejackets (sometimes referred to as a PFD or Personal Flotation Device), two helmets and a bp gift card towards fuel costs.

During the two-week ‘Vote the Boat’ national campaign, more than 8,000 votes were cast, with Levin-Waitarere receiving the most public votes of the four finalist clubs. The other finalist clubs in the running were New Brighton, North Beach and Riversdale.
IRBs are a vital piece of equipment when it comes to surf lifesaving and since their introduction, have facilitated more than 23,968 rescues. This makes up a significant portion of the almost 57,000 lives saved since the start of bp’s partnership with SLSNZ 52-years ago.

Surf Life Saving NZ CEO Paul Dalton says the Vote the Boat campaign is an incredible opportunity to showcase the hard work the lifeguards do for their communities and is an extremely valuable part of bp’s partnership.

“For some clubs, upgrading or purchasing an IRB is financially very challenging. A fully equipped IRB costs a significant $25,000, so we’re beyond grateful for bp’s support. All four finalists were worthy recipients who submitted compelling applications and did a fantastic job of rallying votes for their clubs.”

“Congratulations to the winning club, Levin-Waitarere. We know your members are an amazing group of volunteers who do a superb job of keeping beach-goers safe and we’re thrilled for you,” says Dalton.

Andrew Parkin, Levin-Waitarere Surf Life Saving Club Chairperson says, “We are absolutely over the moon. Surf lifesaving clubs throughout New Zealand are equally deserving, we are so grateful that our community got behind the club and voted, it makes it just that bit more special knowing we have that support.

Our lifeguards have been training hard over the winter, this is a real shot in the arm and something to celebrate as the summer patrol season kicks off. On behalf of all our club members, I would like to thank all those who voted for Levin-Waitarere, and bp for making it happen.”

bp New Zealand’s Managing Director, Debi Boffa, thanked the thousands of New Zealanders who supported the Vote the Boat competition by casting their votes for the SLSNZ club they thought would benefit the most from this new IRB.
“It was awesome to see New Zealanders rally together again and get involved in Vote the Boat this year. We want to offer a huge congratulations to Levin-Waitarere and thank all of the other finalists for their incredible entries. We know this new Inflatable Rescue Boat will make a difference to keeping our beaches safe and contribute to the hundreds of lives saved each year using an IRB,” says Boffa.

bp has been in partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand for 52 years and is ‘In It For Life’. 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 as well as support of other SLSNZ initiatives.

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For further information contact: Estelle Dippie | Account Executive | Porter Novelli on behalf of bp | Phone 027 755 5852

About the 52-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. Since it began, $908,670 has been raised through Every Litre Counts, in addition to bp’s other support of Surf Life Saving New Zealand.