Taste Nelson seeks stars

23:28, Feb 20 2013
Ali Lawley
VIPS PLEASE: Taste Nelson's Ali Lawley, left, and Huup Waagen, right, and Rescue Helicopter crewman Hamish Pirie are hoping to see lots of people bidding for the chance to arrive at Taste Nelson like a star.

The team behind Taste Nelson and the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter are giving four lucky people the chance to spend a day living like a star.

From this Thursday Trade Me is auctioning off four VIP packs worth more than $250 each.

The Taste Nelson VIP Experience will include scenic flights to the event at Founders Heritage Park from the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter base on Saturday, March 2.

When they arrive at the park the VIPs will get free entry to Taste Nelson and then travel by Segway from the landing spot to the McCashins stall from where they will get free drinks throughout the day.

The VIPs will also get the chance to sample food from a selection of the festival's stalls for free and each be given a bottle of liqueur from Schnapp Dragon.

The package also includes a return flight to the chopper base.


Funds raised from the auctions will go towards buying a new $1200 rescue crew life vest for the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.

The auction will run for a week and the packages will only have $1 reserves.

Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust marketing and communications manager Paula Muddle hopes people take advantage of the opportunity the auctions present.

"If you hire a helicopter it's about $3500 an hour," she said.

The funds would also come in handy because the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter no longer has a naming rights sponsor.

"We're looking in the vicinity of half a million for a year for naming rights," Paula said.

Taste Nelson runs from noon till 7pm, with more than 60 stalls selling a wide range of locally made dishes, from wood-fired pizzas to truffles.

There will be appearances by regional wineries and breweries and lots of non-alcoholic drinks to choose from. The entertainment will include performances by The House of Kramit, Soul D, Aly Cook, The Tava Sisters, Sarah Brown, The Johnnys and The Saints.

Masterchef 2012 winner Chelsea Winter will also be there showing off her culinary skills and giving pointers with cooking demonstrations throughout the day, using local ingredients.

One of the festival's organisers, Emma McCashin, said Taste Nelson was not only an opportunity to show visitors what the region had to offer, but it was also a chance for people to try local products they might not realise were made in Nelson.

TICKET DETAILS Pre-booked Tickets via Ticket Direct cost $10 for adults, $8 for teens aged 13 to 17 and family tickets are $25. Gate sales $15 for adults, $10 for teens, children 12 and under free.

To find the VIP Experience auctions on Trade Me, search "helirescue". For more about Taste Nelson itself, visit tastenelson.co.nz.