Mazda Foundation distributes over $80K to community groups

19 May 2015

The Mazda Foundation has donated more than $80,000 to 28 individuals and groups across New Zealand in the first funding round for the year, the biggest amount donated in a single round since 2009.

The Mazda Foundation, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, has gifted over $1.7million back to the community since its inception. The Foundation holds three funding rounds each year selecting New Zealanders, community groups and charities that are in need of support.

In the latest round of grants, a combination of education facilities, conservation programs, individuals, and organisations were allocated much needed funding, including Alzheimers Wanganui - who provide support, information and education programmes for people living with dementia, their whanau (family) and the local community. 

The organisation received $8,412.25 from the Mazda Foundation to purchase a WanderSearch tracking system which helps locate people with dementia who have the potential to go walking and lose their way. The system is beneficial for people with increased risk who are living in their own home, or in an unsecured residential care facility. 

Jenny Spence from Alzheimers Wanganui says New Zealand has a rapidly ageing population which brings with it an increasing number of people with dementia.

“The WanderSearch tracking system will enable people with dementia to continue to live as independently as possible, while giving the family members and carers peace of mind that someone could be found promptly and safely if they went missing.

“For people living with dementia, being connected with their whanau (family), friends and community improves their sense of well-being. The Mazda Foundation, by funding the WanderSearch, is making the difference by supporting the connection.”

Another grant went to Goldfields Special School in Paeroa which services the Coromandel, Thames Valley, Piako and Hauraki districts. The school provides education, health, and social support to students with special needs.

They received $7,514.10 from the Mazda Foundation to purchase two trikes which are specially adapted for children who require the stability of three wheels instead of two. There is also the option for accessories such as a back rest, ankle support and a rear steering system.   

Susie Nyika, therapy manager at Goldfields Special School says many of the school’s students are from low socioeconomic backgrounds. She says they have a high percentage of Maori and Pacific Island students and are increasingly encountering obesity issues.

“These trikes are a creative way to keep the students fit and healthy. Our students often aren’t able to communicate verbally and have sensory integration difficulties, such as rocking and head banging. A daily trike ride is a safe yet fun way to get students puffing, and as a bonus can calm those who tend to get a little agitated at times.

"We’d like to thank the Mazda Foundation for these trikes because now even the most physically complex students have access to trike riding.”

Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation says the good work taking place in communities across the country is always inspiring.

“We’re proud to be celebrating the Mazda Foundation’s ten year anniversary. Over the past decade the amount of organisations, projects and individuals making a difference has never failed to astound us.

“Whether it’s supporting the elderly so they can maintain their independence or helping disabled children, it’s always humbling to see how much great work goes on throughout New Zealand.”

The Mazda Foundation is funded through a contribution from the sale of every new Mazda in New Zealand.

The closing date for the next round of Mazda Foundation applications is 30 June 2015. For more information or to download an application form, visit

Please see below for a full list of Mazda Foundation grant recipients.

Mazda Foundation Grant Recipients for 31 March 2015 Applications



Description of application



Jenny Spence

Alzheimers Wanganui

Funding to purchase a Wander Search Tracking System, which will enable carers to easily track down someone with dementia, should they go wandering



Chris Richmond

Bay Of Islands Maritime Park Inc

Funding to put towards the ‘living waters’ program, which aims to restore a neglected reserve by planting native trees and shrubs



Sarah Thomas

Belmont Playcentre

Funding to purchase baking equipment and a free-standing oven as their current one is on its way out

Lower Hutt


Celia Stewart

Christchurch School of Music

Funding to purchase a new digital piano and several sets of violin and cello strings



Sarah Bramhall

Christchurch Symphony Trust

Funding to purchase instruments and music for their community engagement program



Andy Mitchell

Common Unity Project Aotearoa

Funding for two sewing machines, overlockers and other sewing equipment as the group is currently using old or borrowed machines

Lower Hutt


Fiona Gott

David Henry School

Funding to purchase two literacy and numeracy ICT programs which will increase ICT education opportunities



Ian Burn

Delta Community Support Trust

Funding to purchase a garden shed to conveniently house all their equipment and a trailer to transport heavy gardening supplies



Kate Sanderson

Foundation for Youth Development

Funding to purchase 10 digital cameras to be used as part of a KiwiCan research project



Susan Nyika

Goldfields Special School

Funding to purchase two specially adapted trikes which disabled students can use exercise and enjoy safely



Faye Johnson

Hastings & Districts RNZSPCA

Funding to purchase a laptop to use for their community education program, as their current laptop is out of date



Michelle Park


Funding to purchase two sewing machines so course attendees can learn how to make essential items for their babies

Lower Hutt


Chris Bristow


Funding to purchase a spa pool to help relieve Chris’ symptom from Charcot Marie Tooth Syndrome



Mary Stewart


Funding to modify her vehicle so she is able to operate it without the use of her legs, as they have both been amputated from vascular disease 



Mathew Read


Funding to financially support Mathew on his trip to Ohio, America where he will represent New Zealand at the world target shooting championships



 Jo Crean

Kaka Street Special School

Funding to purchase two beach wheelchairs for the students and their families to borrow for beach visits



Catherine Hodges

Methodist City Mission

Funding to purchase a guitar to use at their weekly community meal, the sing-a-longs build a sense of community and increases wellbeing 



Raylene Johnston

North Street School

Funding to purchase a 3D printer to expand their design technology education program



Jo Owens

Papamoa Toy Library

Funding to purchase a replacement computer system as their current one is out of date, this will ensure all admin tasks run smoothly



Sarah Daily

Pauatahanui School

Funding to purchase five glockenspiels to expand the musical educational program at the school



Bethany Wickham

Pinehaven Playcentre

Funding to purchase a playhouse to help create an outdoor ‘play village’ for their tamariki (children) to enjoy

Upper Hutt


Barbara Leyland

Surf Life Saving Northern Region

Funding to purchase a personal locater beacon which will allow their rescue water craft to send out a distress signal, should the radio fail



Kate Dowling

Te Marua / Mangaroa Playcentre

To purchase four ‘balance’ bikes, these bikes help children learn balance and steering 

Upper Hutt


Ivan Munkedal

Te Puke High School

Funding to purchase ten STELR kits which are designed to educate students about renewable energy

Te Puke


Michelle Keighley

Totara Park Playcentre

Funding to purchase a new science display unit to increase the childrens’ interest in science education

Upper Hutt


Debbie Smith

Waimumu Te Tipua Art & Craft

Funding towards an AED defibrillator to take to community events in case of emergency 



Bob Walker

Wellington Male Voice Choir

Funding to purchase trousers which will ensure the choir is always well presented in matching uniforms 



Ailene Davies

Youthline Central North Island

Funding to purchase two new computer desks and four new desk chairs to ensure workstations are safe and comfortable

Palmerston North








BT-50 commercialcare disclaimer

** is also available to new BT-50 owners where every scheduled service completed by Mazda specialist technicians for a 3 year/100,000km term (whichever wherever occurs first) will cost no more than $200 (incl. GST) per service for models built after 1 November 2012. *** 3,350kg applies to earlier models.

* whichever occurs first