Body & Fitness

Meet the community groups saving lives

These Kiwis are on a mission to help out their neighbourhoods.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable medical device that can automatically assess a patient’s heart rhythm and, if required, administers an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart. Having speedy access to an AED can make the difference between life and death – patients who are defibrillated within the first three to five minutes of cardiac arrest have the greatest chance of surviving.

That’s why Cigna New Zealand and GrownUps have partnered with Heart Saver NZ to give away two AEDs each month to a worthy community group, school or not-for-profit organisation as part of the “Become a Heart Saver” campaign.

Plunket Northern Region

Most Kiwis are aware of the amazing work Plunket does for new parents and new arrivals all over New Zealand. The West Auckland branch is no exception, providing support, training and community-based Well Child services to the entire West Auckland region.

Plunket Clinical Leader Sophie Woodger leapt at the chance to win an AED. “A couple of months ago we were talking about AEDs in the community and how important they were,” she says.

“We downloaded the AED locations app and realised there wasn’t one close to us. When someone mentioned the Become a Heart Saver competition, I got right onto it!”

The West Auckland team has about 50 staff and is located in an industrial area. Sophie and her colleagues plan to add an “AED on site” sign to their road-front signage and do a leaflet drop around neighbouring businesses to let them know they have access to the AED.

Paparimu School

Principal Rachel Evans, students and Richard Poole of GrownUps with the AED the school won as part of the Become a Heart Saver campaign.

A rural primary school in Paparimu Valley, Paparimu School is an hour from central Auckland. The school of just over 30 students is the hub of this rural community, with locals often using the school’s facilities during the weekend.

Rachel Evans, principal at Paparimu School, was “absolutely delighted” when she found out that they had won an AED.

Rachel says that the AED will also be able to be accessed by the playgroup and community hall adjacent to the school, as well as members of the public. “I’ve always wanted an AED for the school but it’s something that we would never have been able to afford ourselves. It’s great to know this AED will also be beneficial to our wider community.”

Do you know of a community group, school or not-for-profit organisation that would benefit from an AED? Nominate them today!

Visit for the chance to win one of two AEDs given away each month. It could save a life!

What is sudden cardiac arrest?

It occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops functioning.

How can you spot SCA?

A sudden cardiac arrest strikes without warning, the patient will suddenly become unresponsive and will not be breathing.

What do you need to do?

Administer CPR and access an AED as soon as you can. Even if you’re not confident doing CPR, it’s better to do something than nothing.

How do I use an AED?

You don’t have to be medically qualified, the machine will guide you through the rescue process using voice or visual prompts.

Get behind Cigna, GrownUps and Heart Saver NZ today to help increase the number of AEDs available in your local community


All statistics and SCA facts provided by Heart Saver NZ

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