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Tree Planting Follows Rally Win For Council


Tree Planting Follows Rally Win For Council Driver

Manukau City Council has won a category award in the recent four-day EnergyWise Rally around the North Island. The Council driver, Jocelyn Watkin, won first place in the petrol four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles class.

Ms Watkin’s achievement of 7.69 litres per 100 km (37 mpg) in a 2.4 litre Honda CRV was highly rated for a four wheel drive, and exceeded Honda’s previous test results in New Zealand.

Now Manukau City Council is also leaving trees in its wake from the EnergyWise Rally. At a planting this morning the first of a number of trees was planted in Manukau as part of the drive to make the EnergyWise Rally a ‘carbon dioxide neutral’ event. The 42 cars involved in the Rally’s 1500 kilometre North Island circuit emitted around 11 tonnes of CO2, and 50 trees will be required to off-set these emissions.

Councillor John Kerr, Jocelyn Watkin, representatives from the AA, Gull Petroleum and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) joined together today at the Manukau Sportsbowl to plant the first tree.

Heather Staley, Chief executive of EECA said, “The tree planting is a way of leading by example in overcoming the impact of our activities on the environment. If New Zealanders buy wisely and drive wisely we will make real progress towards achieving a sustainable energy future.” Manukau City Council supported the EnergyWise Rally, and initiated the tree planting, because it supports the quest for more fuel efficiency and environmental sustainability. Its own energy saving measures have already substantially cut its energy usage and power bills, and Council is committed to finding more savings in future.

The EnergyWise Rally covered 1500 kilometres and ran from November 11 to 14. It began and finished in Manukau City. Competitors circumnavigated the North Island and almost all major car manufacturers had vehicles taking part, competing against each other for fuel economy. The aim of the rally was to show how ordinary drivers, driving wisely and choosing the right car, could slash their fuel bills and therefore their vehicle running costs.

Jocelyn Watkin chose a Honda CRV to demonstrate the fuel-saving capabilities of a popular, modern generation 4WD. She says, "My aim was to show that anyone in a well maintained vehicle can get an extra 50 kilometres a week, out of a full tank. That's quite a saving over a year and would amount to hundreds of dollars, as well as significantly reducing the impact on our environment."

In the final leg of the Rally, Mangere councillor John Kerr drove a special petrol-electric hybrid car from Huntly to the finish line in Manukau.

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