The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter will be the recipient of Century 21 Premier's next charity auction and dinner.

The Turangi-based real estate business is now joining others in the campaign to retain the helicopter rescue service for the Taupo-Central Plateau area.

For local Century 21 franchise owner, Wai Johnson, the cause is also personal.

"This is very dear to my heart, as they rescued my son and his best friend when they went missing on the lake.

Advertisement

"If it had it not been for their fast action in locating the boys, both would have died.

"Given the boys were only minutes away from perishing, it would have been a totally different story if the chopper had to come from afar," Johnson said.

She said the prospect of the region losing its rescue helicopter would be a major setback.

"These so-called cost-saving measures will undoubtedly cost lives. We at Century 21 in Turangi wholeheartedly support the effort to retain the services and will be doing as much as we can to raise awareness in the community. We've also decided that the Taupo-based Greenlea Rescue Helicopter will be the recipient of our upcoming charity efforts."

Johnson said the Turangi company raised more than $15,000 in January with its annual charity auction and dinner for the St John Tuwharetoa Youth Division and Turangi's proposed new St John Ambulance station.

"Given the huge community outcry over the rescue helicopter, I suspect we'd raise even more to support its annual operational costs.

"If other local businesses and organisations were to pledge similar support, it can only help the helicopter's case overall."

Residents turned out in heavy rain on Monday to call for the helicopter service to be retained. Photo / Laurilee McMichael.
Residents turned out in heavy rain on Monday to call for the helicopter service to be retained. Photo / Laurilee McMichael.

Century 21 New Zealand national manager, Geoff Barnett applauded the Turangi office for taking the initiative and showing how seriously they took their responsibility as a corporate citizen in the local community.

"Wai and her team certainly know how to raise money and make a difference, and for the Central North Island there's no better cause than backing the essential rescue helicopter service," Barnett said.