The BayTrust Rescue Helicopter was last night presented with a $17,000 cheque by GJ Gardner Homes Rotorua.

GJ Gardner committed to donating $1000 for every contract signed in the 2015/2016 financial year.

BayTrust Rescue Helicopter base manager and pilot Barry Vincent said it was an "absolutely awesome" amount and it was a testimony to people such as those at GJ Gardner who "come in to bat for us".

"They realise the value of the resource up here and what a great community asset it is."


Mr Vincent said it cost about $1 million a year to run the helicopter service and it could not do what it did without a lot of community support.

"We are here for the community, but we are put here by the community."

GJ Gardner Homes Rotorua owner Graham Griffin said the company was "absolutely stoked" with the amount raised.

"You hope to raise a figure like that, but don't know how the year will go," he said.

It had probably been the best year the company had in eight years, Mr Griffin said.

The firm had a lot of support from clients and it was great the market in Rotorua had turned, allowing it to donate such an amount, he said.

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-This month is the Westpac Chopper Appeal, which aims to raise funds for the 16 rescue helicopter services around the country. Donations can be made at any Westpac branch or at www.chopper All donations go back to the region they are collected from.