The first Mazda Foundation funding round for 2017 saw more than $60,000 donated to 29 Kiwis, community groups and charities across New Zealand.
Each year the Foundation hosts three funding rounds to help Kiwis in need, having gifted over $2.6 million back to the community since its inception in 2005.
One of the recipients, The Life Education Trust Rodney received $7,940 to purchase 6,300 workbooks to help children learn about self-esteem, food and nutrition and body knowledge.
Together with their mascot, Harold the Giraffe, the trust aims to educate primary school children to make healthy choices and tackle challenges such as alcohol, drugs and bullying.
Philippa Hankin, Life Education Trust administrator, says the workbooks are an essential tool that allow the children to take what they have learnt in the programme and apply it at home.
“Each child takes home a workbook so that they can continue to implement the programme into their everyday lives. It helps them make informed decisions about food and beverage choices, relationships and social behaviour.
“The Trust will be visiting a number of schools in the Rodney district this year, and thanks to the Mazda Foundation the children will continue to learn to make the right choices,” she says.
Down south, the New Zealand Conservation Trust Kiwi Breeding Centre in Christchurch received $3,704 to replace vinyl flooring and purchase an instant hot water unit for its kiwi incubation room.
The vinyl floor in the incubation room helps to maintain bio-security in the area and ensures that there are no contaminants passed onto either the kiwi eggs or chicks, while the hot water unit will be a valuable resource to make sure all equipment is sterilised.
Janet Hellyer, Resource & Education Coordinator, says the Trust is entering the 2017 kiwi breeding season and the new equipment is important to ensure that best husbandry practices are followed, protecting eggs and chicks while in the facility.
“We are expecting approximately 60 - 80 chicks through the facility this season and thanks to the Mazda Foundation we’re able to put the best bio-security practices in place to protect the chicks and prevent any unwanted bacteria entering in the kiwi breeding area,” she says.
Another recipient, Sebastian Bray, was born with Down Syndrome which affects his auditory processing, speech and language development. He received $3,000 from the Mazda Foundation to purchase an auditory training system.
The system uses high definition audio recordings to ‘train the ear’, which will immensely improve Sebastian’s delayed speech and communication.
David Hodge, the recently appointed Managing Director of Mazda New Zealand who takes over from Andrew Clearwater as the new Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says Mazda are thrilled to be able to help a wide range of deserving individuals and groups throughout New Zealand.
“There are many organisations doing great work but need a bit more funding and I’m proud that the Mazda Foundation can help make a difference. It’s a fantastic initiative that allows us to reach out and support those that need it the most.
“Whether it’s education groups, conservation projects, or individuals we’re happy that we can make a difference one way or another,” he says.
Former Managing Director and Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, Andrew Clearwater, was the driving force behind the establishment of the Foundation in 2005 and will remain on as a Trustee.
Other Trustees, Murray Berkett, Connie Miller and Liane Donovan will be joined by Mazda Dealer Council Chairman, Andrew McKendry from McKendry Mazda Blenheim, who replaces former Mazda Dealer representative, Rey McCone.
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 2017. For more information or to download an application form, visit www.mazdafoundation.org.nz