Papakura Normal School wins Big Little Sponsorship

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Auckland, 13 August 2018 – The 650 pupils at Papakura Normal School discovered today they have received a major sporting boost from AA Insurance.

At a special assembly this morning, attended by representatives of AA Insurance, Eden Park and former All Black, Keven Mealamu, the school was presented with $10,000 worth of sports equipment and the design plan for a major sports turf upgrade from the groundskeepers at Eden Park. Later this month 20 lucky students from the winning school will also get a VIP tour of Eden Park.

‘The Big Little Sponsorship – a Big Deal for Little Teams’ was created by AA Insurance with support from Eden Park Trust. Over six weeks the programme received more than 852 nominations for 160 deserving primary schools all over Auckland. Nominations came from a variety of people within the community, teachers, parents, and even a group of students practising their persuasive writing skills by submitting nominations for their school.

The panel of judges had a tough job choosing a winner from the 10 finalists, but Papakura Normal School stood out for the breadth of nominations – from the principal, board of trustees, parents and students at the school.  And in a happy coincidence, the pupils at Papakura Normal School had previously identified Keven as a role model in the community they looked up to.

Principal Derek Linington says the school has just built a new PE shed, but had no money to buy equipment to fill it.

“Sport and fitness are important to the school community and the shortage of equipment and uniforms has not held the kids back from performing incredibly well.”

Despite lacking a marked field or even goal posts, Papakura Normal’s rugby team trained for and won their Counties Manukau competition and are now training for the Auckland championships.

Melodie Vickars, Sponsorship Manager at AA Insurance says it was clear from the nominations that sport plays a really important role in primary schools.

“Sport helps to keep kids active, learn to work in teams and builds confidence. Many schools noted how important sport is in balancing the level of interaction kids have with technology. We hope this initiative will help the pupils at Papakura Normal School continue to achieve their fullest potential, on and off the sports field.”

In November, Blair Christiansen and his team of groundskeepers from Eden Park will spend time at the school aerating, fertilising and marking out the school’s sports field and installing goal posts, completing the prize package.  

Runner up, Owairaka Primary School, will receive a $3,000 grant towards sports equipment and resources, and each of the 10 finalists will receive an All Blacks jersey signed by Keven Mealamu. 

Image: Former All Black Keven Mealamu, head girl Leanora Moevasa, 13, Eden Park CEO Nick Sautner, head boy Jeremy Tume, 13, Papakura Normal School principal Derek Linington, and Melodie Vickars, Sponsorship Manager at AA Insurance.

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 930+ staff look after over 480,000 customers with 970,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety NZ and Eden Park and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (since 2011) and Quality Service Awards for Car, and Home and Contents Insurance (since 2015), Kantar Customer Leadership Index (since 2019), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2011-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. AA Insurance was also named Consumer NZ People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents (2019 and 2020).

AA Insurance has an AA- (Very Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit

For more information please contact:

Media Team, AA Insurance, 027 406 1787,