Terrifying but immensely satisfying — that's how Northland MP Matt King describes jumping out of a plane at 20,000 feet.
The MP plummeted to Earth this week from almost twice the height of Mt Cook to promote an upcoming fundraiser for Alzheimers Northland.
Anyone who manages to raise at least $600 for the organisation will get a free tandem jump with Skydive Bay of Islands on July 20.
It was the second time Alzheimers Northland had run the Dare to Dive challenge. About 30 people took part in 2018 and it's hoped for even more this year.
King especially encouraged workplaces to sign up. That way workmates could share the fundraising and nominate a team member — or, better still, their boss — to do the jump.
''It's a really, really cool experience. It scared the hell out of me, you have put your faith in a bit of material and a guy who claims to know what he's doing.''
However, King said he felt more confident after learning his instructor had already done 14,000 trouble-free skydives.
The MP's 20,000 foot jump (just over 6000m) gave him 85 seconds of freefall.
''You get a really good facial massage as you plummet to Earth at just under 200km/h,'' he said.
His only other parachute jump was for his stag do 29 years ago, but that was with a static line so he had no freefall.
Those who take part in Dare to Dive will jump from 12,000 feet (3700m, the height of Mt Cook), which is high enough for 45 seconds of freefall.
Money raised will help Alzheimers Northland support families affected by dementia with day programmes, carer respite, support and guidance.
Northland fundraiser Hannah Hunter said the organisation was grateful for the funding it received from grants and district health board contracts totalling about $800,000.
However, that still left a shortfall of about $200,000 to pay for unfunded, but important, services such as education and caregiver training. The organisation relied on fundraising and community generosity to make up the difference, she said.
■ To take part in Dare to Dive register online at www.alzheimersnorthland.org.nz/dare-to-dive or call Hannah Hunter on 021 174 9760.