Council to the rescue
A $30,000 funding grant will help keep the Auckland Rescue Helicopter in the air this summer.
The Auckland City Council’s arts, culture and recreation committee has approved a one-off grant of $30,000 to the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.
Trust chief executive Bob Parkinson asked the committee for $90,000 at last month’s meeting to help cover a weekly loss of $10,000 caused by falling donations and sponsorship.
The service will receive some funding through the Auckland Regional Amenities Act from July, but in the meantime, it faces a $250,000 to $300,000 shortfall.
Mr Parkinson says he appreciates the council’s efforts.
“To get through to July, the $30,000 will certainly help.”
Mr Parkinson says he’s confident the organisation will be able to maintain its full service and will continue to seek other funds to cover the shortfall.
“We will dig deeper and harder to find other supporters who will help us through. I’m very confident they will be there to help us as they have for the past 30 years.”
Committee chairman Greg Moyle says the council recognised it was an essential service and wanted to help as much as possible.
“We want to make it quite clear to other organisations that will be funded by the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act that we have no further money.”
Councillors Bill Christian and Denise Roche expressed concern the money was only a third of the emergency funding requested.
The committee also approved $30,000 for WaterSafe on top of the $50,000 it provides annually.
The organisation asked for $70,000 in emergency funding last month to help cover its $300,000 deficit.
The extra grant comes from reprioritising the recreational services budget.