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New Zealanders vote remote Otago surf life saving club the winner

Release date:
11 November 2019
BP and Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) have today announced that the remote Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club, located nine kilometres north of Nugget Point Lighthouse in Otago, is the winner of BP’s 2019 Vote the Boat campaign.


The winning club will receive a brand-new Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB), worth $25,000, for the 2019-2020 summer season.


During the two-week ‘Vote the Boat’ national campaign more than 17,500 votes were cast, with Kaka Point receiving the most public votes of the four finalist clubs. Other clubs were Waipu Cove in Northland, East End in New Plymouth, and Midway in Gisborne. 


BP New Zealand’s Managing Director Debi Boffa thanked the thousands of New Zealanders who supported the competition by casting their votes for which community they thought would benefit the most from this additional IRB. 


“It was incredible to see so many New Zealanders get behind Vote the Boat. We want to offer a huge congratulations to Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club that gained the highest number of votes from a group of deserving and hardworking clubs. We know this new Inflatable Rescue Boat is much-needed and will make a tangible difference to keeping our beaches safe and contribute to the hundreds of lives saved each year using an IRB,” says Boffa. 


IRBs are a vital piece of equipment when it comes to volunteer surf lifeguards saving lives and since their introduction, have facilitated more than 22,700 rescues. This makes up a significant portion of the almost 56,000 lives saved since the start of BP’s partnership with SLSNZ 51-years ago. 


Surf Life Saving NZ CEO Paul Dalton says the Vote the Boat campaign is an extremely valuable part of BP’s partnership. 


“A fully equipped IRB costs $25,000 – that’s a significant amount for clubs to find so we’re incredibly grateful for BP’s support. All four finalist clubs were worthy recipients who submitted compelling applications, created wonderful videos and did a great job of generating votes for their clubs.”

“Congratulations to the winning club, Kaka Point. We know your club members are a fabulous group of volunteers who do a great job of keeping beach-goers safe and we’re delighted for you,” says Dalton.


Of the win, Kaka Point Treasurer Nyree Dickie says, “The stories of people who have supported us during the voting period are truly humbling. It wasn’t just our local community, but also our family, friends, and ex-clubbies from across the globe, as far away as Canada, Australia, America, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.” 


“For us at Kaka Point, money is really tight. Now the hard work has paid off and we are ecstatic to be the winners of Vote the Boat. Our heartfelt appreciation goes to BP and our local Balclutha BP station for their amazing, ongoing support.”


Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club’s prize includes an IRB hull, 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.


BP has been in partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand for 51 years and both are in it for life. BP’s partnership with 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 as well as support of other SLSNZ initiatives. 


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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 monthlong 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.

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