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Firefighter conquers Sky Tower Challenge for second time!

Monday 20 May 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, Local, National

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Firefighter conquers Sky Tower Challenge for second time!
Tahiti Isaaka of Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade is greeted by her dear friend Tekao Herrmann and family after completing her Firefighters Sky Tower Challenge 2024 in Aotearoa New Zealand to raise funds for blood cancer. SUPPLIED/24051709

Volunteer firefighter Tahiti Isaaka has triumphantly “nailed” her second attempt at Firefighters Sky Tower Challenge 2024 in Aotearoa New Zealand on Friday (Cook Islands time) to raise funds for blood cancer.

Isaaka is a dedicated member of the Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade and has been training hard for the past six months in Rarotonga to prepare for this challenge.

She flew to Auckland last week to participate in the annual event.

Shaving minutes off her time she recorded last year, Isaaka was thrilled to complete the event in 30 – 31 minutes.

She was motivated to repeat the Sky Tower challenge “to do something for a good cause and for my dear friend Tekao (Herrmann) who is fighting cancer – he has always been one of my number one supporters”.

She became overwhelmed when she saw Herrmann after the challenge.

“He was sick in bed when I arrived here (NZ) this week and I was so surprised to see him there. It was emotional, I was so happy to get to hug him after my race.”


Tahiti Isaaka of Puaikura’s Volunteer Fire Brigade is greeted by her dear friend Tekao Herrman who is battling cancer, after completing her Firefighters Sky Tower Challenge 2024 in Aotearoa New Zealand. SUPPLIED/24051711 or 24051710

The Sky Tower challenge is an arduous physical competition that brings together firefighters from across Aotearoa to raise funds and awareness for blood cancer.

Firefighters are required to carry 25 kilograms of additional kit up 51 flights of stairs of 1103 individual steps of Auckland’s Sky Tower – one of the tallest buildings in the Southern Hemisphere at 328 metres.

This time around Isaaka says she was better prepared for the event and is relieved her intense workouts have paid off.

According to NZ Herald, founded by firefighter Tony Scott, who has been part of both Northland and Auckland Airport Fire Rescue Service since 1988, the event has been raising funds for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand for 20 years, growing from $17,500 in its first year to over $1 million annually.

As of 2024 it has raised nearly $16m for blood cancer patients and their families.