Kiwi classic to raise money for Alzheimers New Zealand

Move over pavlova, lamington yet another icon Australia claimed as its own

19 June, 2017: Kiwis are expected to eat more than 380,000 lamingtons over the next four weeks to raise money for Alzheimers New Zealand. From Monday 26 June until Sunday 23 July, 20 cents from each six pack of lamingtons purchased from Countdown will be donated to the charity.

It’s a little-known fact that while the origin of the pavlova has been a long-standing battle between New Zealand and Australia, lamingtons also have a controversial history between the two nations.

Australians claim the spongey treat was named after Queensland’s Lord Lamington in 1896, but rumour has it the lamington was actually invented in New Zealand in 1888 and originally called a Wellington[1]. The iconic shavings of coconut are intended to imitate the snow-capped mountains of New Zealand.

Countdown and Elite Food Group, a Blenheim-based bakery with a personal connection to Alzheimers, have joined forces to keep the shelves stocked with lamingtons:

In total, they will:

  • Spend 1,260 hours mixing and baking
  • Bake 128 batches of 3,000 lamingtons in each
  • Use four tonnes of eggs and more than three tonnes of flour.

Elite Food Group General Manager, Anthony Fisher, has recently had a family member diagnosed with Alzheimers, and says the cause is one that’s close to his heart. 

“My Mum has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers, so I’ve got huge respect for the work Alzheimers New Zealand does. We encourage people to purchase the lamingtons, enjoy a sweet treat and help support those living with Alzheimers,” says Mr Fisher.

Lamingtons traditionally come in raspberry and chocolate, but modern flavour twists are proving popular. Last year a zingy lemon variety was introduced to Countdown, and its popularity will see it return for a second year to raise funds to support the 62,287 New Zealanders who are currently living with dementia[2]. Lamington lovers helped raise $16,000 for the cause last year.

Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, James Walker, says Countdown is proud to support a cause that affects more than 60,000 kiwis and their families.

“Our suppliers get behind many valuable causes within the community, and it’s great that we’re able to team up with Elite Food Group to create a treat and raise money at the same time,” says Mr Walker.

Alzheimers New Zealand Chief Executive, Catherine Hall, says dementia is one of New Zealand’s biggest healthcare challenges, and will have a major impact on society in years to come.

“Through the lamington sales we hope to raise more awareness of dementia in New Zealand. The funds raised will be used to provide national programmes, resources and activities for people living with dementia, helping to improve their quality of life,” says Ms Hall.

The number of New Zealanders living with dementia is growing rapidly, with more than 170,000 New Zealanders forecast to have dementia by 2050.

The lamingtons are part of Countdown’s Price Lockdown programme, and can be purchased in store for $4 each or two for $7.


[1] University of Auckland research

[2] Alzheimers New Zealand, 2016

| Keywords: