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Mazda Foundation boosts the arts, environment and people

Mazda Foundation boosts the arts, environment and people in need

An organisation providing dogs to the hearing impaired and a trust working to protect native bird species were among 36 recipients from the Mazda Foundation’s final round of funding for 2018.

Over $137,000 was gifted to communities across New Zealand, supporting people and projects in the arts, environment and individuals in need.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People received $16,000 to purchase eight new puppies to undergo a socialisation and training programme to give independence back to the hearing impaired.

The dogs are handpicked specifically for the programme based on their confidence, intelligence and breeding and once fully qualified they will be paired with someone in need.

Nicole Segar, CEO at Hearing Dogs NZ, says a hearing dog can be life-changing for a person who is deaf or has a hearing impairment as it grants them another level of independence.

“One in ten Kiwis have a hearing impairment and our hearing dogs provide these people with constant support, enabling them to live a more confident and independent life. The dogs are trained to respond to several sounds including door knocks, telephones ringing, baby monitors and smoke alarms.

“We have a growing waitlist of people with hearing impairments and this grant will enable us to change the lives of eight more people in the community,” she says.

The Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalists’ Trust, based at the Shorebird Centre on the Firth of Thames, works hard to safeguard the future of New Zealand’s wonderful shorebirds, such as the long-distance record-holding Bar-tailed Godwit, the Pacific Golden Plover and the unique New Zealand Wrybill.

The New Zealand population of the Pacific Golden Plover is in sharp decline, so the organisation received $5,000 towards the cost of 10 satellite tags to track their 22,000km annual migratory roundtrip from the Arctic to New Zealand and back.

Jim Eagles, Project Manager, says collecting data on the whereabouts of the Pacific Golden Plovers is essential in helping the trust preserve the species for generations to come.

“We’ve been working hard trying to figure out why their population is falling and we suspect the problem lies somewhere along their flight path. The trouble is we don’t know where in the Arctic they come from or what route they take to get here.

“The tiny satellite tags will be fitted to the Plovers as they roost near on the Firth, giving us the ability to track their flight path as they head north to their nesting sites and later return to New Zealand. That will allow us to investigate where the problem is occurring and help us come up with a plan to save the species.”

In Otago, The Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust is aiming to bring a more diverse range of performances to its Festival of Colour next year, exposing its southern audience to two of New Zealand’s most vibrant cultures.

The trust received $3,188 to help cover the cost of bringing three outstanding performances by Maori and Pasifika artists to the Festival.

The new performances that will feature as part of the 2019 programme are Maori Sidesteps, a quartet of singing comedians; Wild Dogs Under my Skirt, a theatre show featuring six Pasifika women; and Still Life with Chickens, a solo production written by D.F Mamea and performed by Goretti Chadwick.

Each year the Foundation hosts three funding rounds to help Kiwis in need, having gifted over $3.2 million back to the community since its inception in 2005.

David Hodge, Managing Director of Mazda New Zealand and Chairman of the Mazda Foundation says there are hundreds of fantastic initiatives throughout New Zealand and Mazda is proud to offer financial support to those who need it most.

“Whether it’s supporting people by providing equipment to make day-to-day life easier or providing vital funds to community focused organisations – we are inspired by the number of Kiwis working to make a difference for their families or wider community projects.

“Whether it’s bringing arts and culture to local communities or working hard to save native New Zealand birds – we are continuously inspired by the number of Kiwis working to make a difference for their local communities.

I am proud that the Mazda Foundation can lend a hand and help these people continue to make an impact.”

The Mazda Foundation is funded through a contribution from the sale of every new Mazda in New Zealand. For information on other recipients visithttp://mazdafoundation.org.nz/grant-recipients.

The closing date for the next round of Mazda Foundation applications is 31 March 2019. For more information or to download an application form, visitwww.mazdafoundation.org.nz.

Ends

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