New Zealanders have dug deep to donate $1,264,190 to this year's Westpac Chopper Appeal, beating last year's effort of $1.22m. The total includes $25,610 raised for the Northland Rescue Helicopter. Westpac NZ acting general manager of consumer banking and wealth, Gina Dellabarca, paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of Westpac staff, volunteers and New Zealanders who have generously contributed to such a strong result. "So many people have pushed themselves right to the limits to fundraise this year, and their determination is incredibly inspiring," she said. Funds raised through the Westpac Chopper Appeal are distributed to the 15 rescue helicopter services across the country, with each individual donation going back to the region it was collected from. "We would like to thank the Northland community and local branches of Westpac for their support during the Westpac Chopper Appeal. We rely heavily on community donations and are very humbled by the support we are given each year," Northland Rescue Helicopter CEO Paul Ahlers said. Donations are welcome throughout the year and can be made at or any Westpac branch.

Wellsford Lotto winner

A Wellsford Powerball player has pocketed $16.5 million in the latest big Powerball first division lotto win on Saturday. The winning ticket was sold at Woodys Winners in Wellsford. The $16.5 million prize is made up of $16 million from Powerball First Division and $500,000 from Lotto First Division. This is the second time in just over a month that Powerball has been struck, with a Hamilton man taking home $10.2 million in mid-June. The man plans to tick things off his bucket list, starting with a European summer holiday. Sixteen Lotto players from around the country will be celebrating after each winning $18,666 with lotto second division. One lucky player also won Powerball Second Division, taking their total winnings to $38,056. The winning Powerball Second Division ticket was sold on MyLotto to a player from Auckland. Three of the winning second division tickets were sold in Northland and were at Opononi Four Square, Kaikohe at Corner Cardz N Magz and Whangarei online ticket buyer. The winning numbers were 4, 5, 13, 22, 24, 28, bonus 6, powerball 6, and Strike 5, 13, 22, 24.

Local election nominations

Council nominations are now open for the 2019 local body elections, they close on August 16. Ballot forms will be delivered from September 20 with voting closing at noon on October 12. The new mayor, councillors and community board members should be known that evening. If you are standing in the elections or you are putting on a meet-the-candidates event in Northland, email the details to

Dog training on Kiwi

Free 10-minute lessons to teach dogs to be averse to Kiwi is being offered by Pukenui Western Hills Forest Trust. The meeting point is at the duck ponds at Barge Park and there are only 30 spots available on Sunday, August 11 from 09.00-15.00. Please email Ranger Bevan at if you wish to have your dog aversion-trained.