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Military & civilian teams to compete in Sky Tower Challenge

12 April 2017

Military and civilian teams to compete in extreme Sky Tower challenge

New Zealand’s defence personnel and emergency response services will go head to head in an inaugural challenge that will reach the Sky Tower’s highest point to raise funds for the Auckland RSA’s Annual Poppy Appeal.

SKYCITY Auckland’s Tower De Force challenge, on Thursday 20 April, will see six teams face a series of challenges to retrieve their flag from the mast of the Sky Tower (328m high) and return it to ground level. The challenges include a military skills course, climb up 1229 stairs, a mock-emergency first aid scenario, climbing the mast of the Sky Tower (91m vertical ladder climb) and abseiling 160 metres down the Sky Tower.*

Teams of six from the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), New Zealand Army, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Veterans, St John New Zealand and SKYCITY will compete.

The challenge will raise funds for the Auckland RSA’s annual Poppy Day Appeal to continue the RSA’s support of New Zealand veterans, their families and dependents. As well as fundraising, the teams will be competing for the inaugural Tower De Force title and the honour of lighting the Sky Tower with the Poppy emblem later that night.

Matt Ballesty, SKYCITY Auckland Acting General Manager says SKYCITY is excited to be adding a unique and challenging event to its Poppy Partnership with the Auckland RSA.

“SKYCITY has been a proud supporter of the Auckland RSA for more than four years now. This will be the ultimate challenge with the bravery, dedication and grit of our military and civilian organisations put to the test,” says Matt Ballesty, SKYCITY Auckland Acting General Manager.

Auckland RSA President Graham Gibson says Auckland RSA is delighted that this new event will showcase the spirit of comradeship in the heart of Auckland and is a continuation of the successful Poppy Partnership with SKYCITY Auckland.

“We thank SKYCITY Auckland and all the Teams taking part for supporting the Auckland RSA Poppy Appeal and we’re pretty sure that the experience of the NZDF Veterans Team will come out on top,” says Graham Gibson, Auckland RSA President.

“As a Force for New Zealand we look forward to the challenge and the opportunity to support our veterans and their families,” says Warrant Officer Class One Danny Broughton, Warrant Officer of the New Zealand Defence Force.

The Tower De Force course has been developed by SKYCITY in conjunction with NZDF Physical Training Instructors and will test skill, agility, teamwork, stamina and brute strength.

SKYCITY has supported the Auckland RSA and Poppy Day and Anzac Day commemorations since 2012. Since 2014, the Sky Tower has projected a large Poppy on to the Sky Tower for Poppy Week and Anzac Day.

Friends, family and the public are invited to come and watch the challenge at SKYCITY Auckland and donate to the Auckland RSA on behalf of the teams taking part at

*See attached infographic of Tower De Force challenge.

Tower De Force, Thursday 20 April

2:00pmMilitary ceremony, raising of the New Zealand flag, Haka performance (SKYCITY Auckland Plaza)

Two Harvard aircrafts will fly over Auckland CBD

2:30pmChallenge begins, teams start on 15 minute intervals

Final team begins at 3.45pm

4:45pm (approx.)Challenge completed and all teams assemble
5:00pmMilitary ceremony, lowering of the New Zealand flag, bugle plays ‘The Last Post’ followed by the reciting of ‘The Ode’
5:15pmAndy’s Burgers & Bar (“The Green Zone”) – refreshments served
6:00pmPrize giving in Andy’s Burgers and Bar, winning team is announced
6.45pmWinning team escorted to location to light the Sky Tower
7:10pm (approx.)Sky Tower lights with Poppy emblem

*Approximate time, to be confirmed.

© Scoop Media

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