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Mazda Foundation supports community

2 November 2019

Mazda Foundation supports community in latest round of funding

Specialist online coaching that will change a 15-year-old’s life, long john wetsuits for white water rafting, and support to develop Taupo’s arts community were among the 30 grants given in the latest Mazda Foundation funding round.

More than $98,000 was gifted to community organisations and individuals across New Zealand, supporting people and projects in education, environment and those in need.

Fifteen-year-old Charlie Farthing, who has Down Syndrome and a rare genetic disorder known as pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy, has never been able to eat solid food.

A complication during an emergency bowel surgery when he was 10 months old meant he has had to be tube fed for the majority of his life.

His mum, Cheryl Farthing, says Charlie wants nothing more than to sit down and share delicious dinners with his friends and family.

The Farthing family received $1,610.00 from the Mazda Foundation to help fund online coaching from a specialist clinic in Austria which will help introduce Charlie to solid foods in New Zealand.

Cheryl says her son has already overcome so much adversity in his life and he deserves the chance to reach his full potential.

“Now he’s a growing teenager it’s important Charlie gets the volume of food and nutrients he needs. We currently prepare 1.5 litres of pureed food for him but the coaching will give Charlie so much more freedom and integration into normal everyday life.”

In Canterbury, The Peel Forest Outdoor Pursuits Charitable Trust are planning their upcoming weeklong river rafting and kayaking course.

It received a $2,461.00 grant from the Mazda Foundation to purchase 14 long john wetsuits for their river activities, a basic but extremely essential part of the gear needed for the programme.

Jan Sippel, Funding Coordinator, says the wetsuits are a key part of for the ‘Journey’ programme which is designed to support at risk youth.

“Journey is a funded course for students who may not be able to afford to take part in outdoor activities otherwise. The aim is for children to leave with exposure to new experiences, self-development and a confidence boost.

“The best outcome for us is to see students inspired to continue their self-development and positively impact their community.”

The Taupo Sculpture Trust have received a grant of $724.54 to help fund new information plaques for their growing number of art installations around the Lake Taupo district.

Nicki Smith, Secretary and Treasurer, says the Trust hope having a more immersive arts experience in their region will help to enhance the district and attract more travellers.

“New plaques will provide more context to the sculptures that enliven our town and hopefully help give recognition to the talented artists whose works bring so much joy.”
Each year the Mazda Foundation hosts three funding rounds to help Kiwis in need, having gifted over $3.6 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 seeing the difference the Mazda Foundation has made in the lives of the grant recipients is truly inspiring.

“Whether it is helping change a 15-year-old’s life through coaching to enable him to eat with his family or helping the arts community in Taupo – I’m proud that the Mazda Foundation can lend a helping hand.”

The Mazda Foundation is funded through a contribution from the sale of every new Mazda in New Zealand. For information on other recipients visit

Applications for the next round of Mazda Foundation funding close on March 30, 2020. For more information or to download an application form, visit


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