Monday, 18 January 2021


Approximately $25,000 raised at Concert in the Vines

Leanda Hunt, event organiser of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, estimates that his year’s Concert in the Vines, held on Friday last week at Mercury Bay Estate in Cooks Beach, has raised approximately $25,000 for the Auckland and Coromandel Westpac Rescue Helicopters. “I’d say we had more than 700 people at the concert,” says Leanda.

The music line-up featured the bands Chaidaze, Pat for President and White Chapel Jak (Radio New Zealand’s Cover Band of the year for 2018). The energy of White Chapel Jak was infectious and towards the end of the concert virtually everyone in the crowd was on their feet and dancing.

A highlight was when the rescue helicopter based in Whitianga (ZK-HES) arrived at the concert and crew members James Tayler (pilot), Marcel Driessen (intensive care paramedic) and Vasya Makhinko (crewman/co-pilot) opened the helicopter for everyone who was interested to have a look. The crew were generous with their time and stayed at the concert for more than an hour and a half.

“It wouldn’t have been possible to put the concert on without the support from our sponsors and a large group of amazing volunteers who all worked tirelessly in the blistering heat to make the concert a special day for everyone,” says Leanda. “I specifically would like to thank The Informer - our main sponsor, Mercury Bay Estate, Marquee Solutions, Peninsula Roofing and Scaffolding, Murphy Buses, Alan Beagle of More FM - the master of ceremonies, JAG Audio and the trustees of the Coromandel Helicopter Trust.

“It’s very clear that the Auckland and Coromandel Westpac Rescue Helicopters have a lot of support on the Coromandel Peninsula. It’s very encouraging.”

Picture: Friends, from the left, Linda Ter Huurne-Roberts, Karen Johansen and Anna Hobcroft enjoying the concert on Friday.


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.