You’ve seen her on the telly, most recently as presenter for Fair-Go and defender of Kiwis who have been left with very little options. Pippa Wetzell is a welcome addition to many of our homes, at least once a week, and she often does the odd stint on Seven Sharp and Breakfast too.
Pippa started working at TVNZ, one of our Corporate Sponsors, in the 90s, straight out of a Communications Degree. Working the overnight shift on the news desk, Pippa’s roles included reporting and producing for Breakfast, Midday News, and Business. She was also a reporter for ONE News for five years, before taking up the presenting role on Breakfast.
A busy mum as well, we are very fortunate to have Pippa on board as our Ambassador, flying the flag for her local Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service on top of her everyday life. Pippa tells us that supporting the service is an easy choice.
“There are so many wonderful stories of people whose lives have been saved because of the Auckland and Coromandel Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service,” she says, “I’m born and bred in Auckland and we holiday regularly in the Coromandel too. My family has spent a lot of time out and about exploring these beautiful regions and appreciate the incredible service the helicopter provides.”
Pippa has another special connection with the Trust. “My Dad was a surf lifesaver at Piha for many years starting in the 1960s. I understand the first rescue helicopter service was based out of Piha in the 70s and he would assist with rescues. It’s something he’s very proud of.”
“We Kiwis are an adventurous bunch,” she tells us, “We love to get out and explore our beautiful country and I wholeheartedly encourage that. It does mean though that you can find yourself out of the reach of facilities that you might need should an accident strike – you never know when you might need them.”
Pippa’s family have never needed to use the service themselves and she hopes they never will. “Every time I see them flying, it gives me pause for thought. You realise there is a family somewhere who is going through significant angst.”
Pippa’s three kids think helicopters are “fabulous”. “Ambulance helicopters (as they like to call them) are the ultimate though! They’re keen to have a close up look, but look, if I’m being totally honest, I hope they never have to get too close a look!”
We hope so too. From our crew to you, thank you Pippa for your generous support.