Appeal flies high with “tap’n’go” tech

Posted on 28 October 2020

NBS Rescue Helicopter Appeal flies high with “tap’n’go” tech.


NBS is almost through their Rescue Helicopter Appeal, with a touch of new technology making it easier than ever to donate.

NBS has purchased four smart-pay “tap’n’go” machines for the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust (NMRHT). The mobile devices only require a simple tap of any card with payWave to donate, removing the need for dealing with cash money.

NMRHT General Manager Paula Muddle says the devices will make a significant difference to the charity’s ability to take donations with ease.

“Right now during the Appeal, and into the future, these will prove to be absolutely invaluable for us,” said Muddle. “It makes the donation process so simple. In our increasingly cashless society, the days of shaking a bucket on the street are becoming a thing of the past.”

Muddle said the devices will help bring down the administrative overheads of dealing with cash donations, giving the Trust more resources for its core fundraising work.

In September, the crew completed 41 missions, adding to the total of 367 lives they have played a critical role in saving this year.

The month-long Appeal is a part of NBS’s ongoing sponsorship of the rescue helicopter service, aiming to shine a light on its vital work and give a funding boost.  The Mako game at the end of September led into the appeal month with a bang, with NBS matching public donations dollar-for-dollar and raising $7,184.

NBS CEO Tony Cadigan said the “tap’n’go” devices were launched in NBS branches last week, with NBS staff taking them out and about to the public during weekends, including to McCashin’s Tap Room in Stoke, Sprig and Fern in Motueka and at the Milk and Honey cycling race in Golden Bay, held on Sunday.

“There’s been a hugely positive response - to the tech, and to the Appeal overall,” Cadigan said. “This is the second time we’ve donated the machines, after seeing them in action when we donated several to the Nelson Tasman Hospice earlier this year.

The NMRHT is only partially government funded for the 500+ missions they fly every year, making donations absolutely vital to their operations. So far in 2020, the helicopter has averaged 10 missions per week, at an average cost of $3,500 per mission.

The team is highly skilled, trained in navigating obstructive environments, water rescue, high altitude, day and night winching, and bush, snowline and avalanche survival. Ensuring this expertise meets regulatory requirements costs approximately $120,000 a year.

Paula Muddle says October’s been a busy month for the crew, and it’s incredibly encouraging to see the donations rolling in from the community and the staff engagement at NBS.

“Making sure our team is safe during their dangerous work is high priority for us, and that’s what the Appeal will help us do,” she said. “Safety gear for pilots and crew, which includes fire retardant clothing, all-terrain boots, flight suits, personal locator beacons, life vests and night vision goggles, adds up to around $35,000 each for the crew.”

“We can’t thank NBS and everyone who’s donated so far enough,” she said. “It’s amazing to receive the support we need to stay in the air and keep our community safe.”

Tony Cadigan says the entire NBS team is proud to be a major sponsor of the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust.

“We’ve always seen the community show fantastic support of the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust, and this year’s Appeal looks no different.”


The tap’n’go devices are in NBS branches and will be out and about this final weekend of the appeal. Supporters can also donate cash or online at

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