$10,000 to fix Otaki surf club roof

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS -

With a leaky club roof and money hard to come by, Otaki Surf Life­sav­ing Club were over the moon when they heard they had won $10,000 from a pool of $459,050 raised through BP’s Every Litre Counts (SLSNZ) month long cam­paign ear­lier this year.

The money, which saw a por­tion of every litre of fuel sold at BP sites na­tion­wide, will al­low Surf Life Sav­ing New Zealand and its 74 surf clubs (18,642 mem­ber) to fund life­guard and first aid train­ing, pur­chase equip­ment, and cover some of their run­ning costs.

The $10,000 di­rected to the Otaki Surf Life­sav­ing Club will be used to fix their gear club roof which reg­u­larly leaks and is where their IRBs are stored, mak­ing it a crit­i­cal and time­sen­si­tive task.

“It is an in­cred­i­bly gen­er­ous do­na­tion and will form the ba­sis of a fund to re­place the gear shed roof which is essen­tial main­te­nance,” Otaki Surf Life­sav­ing Club chair­man Graeme Lundie said.

“BP’s on­go­ing sup­port through cam­paigns such as Every Cent Counts is cen­tral to us be­ing able to keep our essen­tial gear run­ning and pro­tected so that we can pro­vide on­go­ing life­sav­ing ser­vices to the Otaki Beach.

“The roof is 31 years old and has been re­sealed com­pletely once over the years and been patched on four sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions, it is also ac­ces­si­ble from some ar­eas and we fre­quently have kids run­ning over it which causes more dam­age.

“It leaks in sev­eral places and the in­fra­struc­ture is start­ing to de­te­ri­o­rate. Also it is be­com­ing a se­cu­rity risk as there are places it could be lev­ered off the walls in some ar­eas.”

The Every Litre Counts cam­paign marked 50 years since BP be­gan its sup­port of Surf Life Sav­ing New Zealand in 1968, be­lieved to be New Zealand’s long­est un­bro­ken cor­po­rate part­ner­ship.

“We are so proud to part­ner with a char­ity which saves thou­sands of lives on New Zealand beaches each year,” BP New Zealand manag­ing di­rec­tor Debi Boffa said.

“Fifty years is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone and Every Litre Counts was our way to say thank you for hav­ing our backs.

“The re­sponse from the New Zealand pub­lic who took part in the cam­paign was in­cred­i­ble and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

In the last 50 years, more than 55,000 lives have been saved with 22,000 of those res­cues con­ducted us­ing a BP In­flat­able Res­cue Boat (IRB).

Last sum­mer alone, BP IRBs helped 5247 vol­un­teer life­guards con­duct 333 searches, 1058 res­cues and 2358 as­sists at beaches across New Zealand.

“Our as­so­ci­a­tion with BP started in the wake of the Wahine tragedy and since then has be­come in­valu­able to us,” Surf Life Sav­ing New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Dal­ton said.

“Our fund­ing sources are largely short term and de­ter­mined year-to-year, which puts us at a huge risk.

“We break even at best. We start each new year with no money and need to find $9 to $10 mil­lion just to run our or­gan­i­sa­tion and keep New Zealand beaches safe.

“If we can be­gin the sum­mer with money from a part­ner like BP, that makes such a dif­fer­ence. We may have our big­gest pro­file in sum­mer, but most of our work is hap­pen­ing now, dur­ing the win­ter months.

“We’re train­ing 1000 new life­guards each year, re­plac­ing and re­pair­ing equip­ment, fundrais­ing and plan­ning for the up­com­ing sum­mer months.

“The do­na­tion couldn’t have come at a bet­ter time.

“To the peo­ple of New Zealand who have taken part in the Every Litre Counts cam­paign I’d like to say a huge thanks.

“It might not seem a lot at the time, but every lit­tle amount col­lec­tively adds up to a huge amount.

“It’s cer­tainly go­ing to make our beaches safer in the com­ing years.”

Otaki Surf Life­sav­ing Club.

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