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Avanti Gets Behind "Bikes For Africa"

Media Release November 2007

Avanti Gets Behind "Bikes For Africa"

The leading cycle manufacturer and retailer Avanti is backing an extraordinary project which is working towards poverty eradication and sustainable industry development by directing unwanted New Zealand bicycles to new homes in Ghana, Africa.

Avanti is working with the New Zealand Green Bike Trust to support their Bikes for Africa project, which provides second-hand cycles to Ghana. As part of a drive to receive more cycles to send to Africa, Avanti and the New Zealand Green Bike Trust have launched a national campaign, exclusive to the countrywide network of Avantiplus retail stores, asking Kiwis to bring their unwanted cycles into stores.

Avanti Group Marketing Manager Tony Rogers said during November 2007, customers could bring their old cycle into any Avantiplus store and receive $100 off the recommended retail price of any new cycle over $599, and the same amount off selected bikes starting at $399. Customers with a trade-in can also negotiate a discount on children’s cycles. [Conditions apply]. All cycles in reasonable, repairable condition will be accepted, except children’s tricycles and the smallest 12” bicycles.

“We’ll then send all traded-in cycles to the New Zealand Green Bike Trust in Wellington for processing,” Mr Rogers said. “Parts will be stripped from unrepairable cycles, and intact cycles will be transported as is to Ghana by container ship for further processing.”

At the receiving end, a Ghanaian team has been trained to service and repair the cycles so the project can be maintained indefinitely. Bikes for Africa will give Ghanaians the opportunity to start businesses through the refurbishment, maintenance and distribution of cycles, creating micro-enterprises through which they can engage in the local economy.

Bikes for Africa is not only a humanitarian endeavour – it also means good news for the Kiwi environment. With more than 110,000 cycles sold in New Zealand each year, it is estimated that many thousands of disused cycles are left to rust in garages and landfills. Many of these can now be redirected to Avantiplus stores, and given a new lease on life in New Zealand and Ghana.

David Crichton, Volunteer Manager for the New Zealand Green Bike Trust, said, “The Bikes for Africa project was originally begun by a US businessman and cyclist, and to date more than 20,000 cycles have been sent to Ghana from the United States. However, this is not a dumping ground for unwanted cycles, because only rideable cycles and requested parts and tools will be used.” He said Avantiplus would donate some of the traded-in cycles to be fully restored for distribution to community groups.

Avanti has an established track record of community support and not-for-profit projects. In addition to its support of the New Zealand Green Bike Trust – which distributes free recycled bikes to New Zealand community groups and disadvantaged families and refugees, and promotes cycle safety through its Bike Wise programme – Avanti is a longtime supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Association, most recently donating 20 cycles to children living with the disease.

Avanti also sponsors the SPARC Cycle Friendly Awards as part of its work to promote safer and more extensive facilities for cyclists.

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