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Mazda Foundation supports health, wellbeing and the environment

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Predator traps, chainsaw and a therapy dog are among some of the items given out to recipients around New Zealand in Mazda Foundation’s latest round of funding.

The Mazda Foundation is funded through a contribution from the sale of every new Mazda in New Zealand. Each year it runs three funding rounds to help Kiwis in need with nearly $4 million being gifted back to the community since its inception in 2005.

Over $83,000 was gifted to individuals and organisations this round, with a strong focus on health, well-being, and the environment.

Wellington local, Jamie Stewart, was among those who received a grant from the Mazda Foundation this round. Stewart received a grant of $10,000 to purchase a trained therapy dog for his autistic son, Mahi.

Six-year-old Mahi has an autistic condition that has left him anxious, and unable to talk, learn or play, among a wide range of other challenges. A therapy dog will help improve many of these issues for Mahi, enhancing his quality of life.

Mahi’s father, Jamie, says his disability can make it tempting to keep him in places where things are easier for him, but he knows to help him they need to learn to feel confident in other environments too.

"We believe that families and communities should do everything they can to help those with disabilities lead the best possible quality of life they are able to," he says.

Several recipients this round received grants towards environmental initiatives. The Waikato River Trails Trust received funding from the Mazda Foundation to purchase a chainsaw and hand compactor to assist with trail surfacing.

The Waikato River Trails Trust is a community led organisation that built and now maintains, over 107 kilometres of walking and cycling trails. The Trust aims to ensure that the Waikato River trails are accessible for everyone.

Shirley McPherson, administrator at Waikato River Trails Trust, says that having the trails accessible to everyone provides an opportunity to showcase the need to protect our natural resources.

"The Trust has strong educational and awareness objectives. We don’t want to be seen only as just a walking and cycling trail, we want to increase the awareness of the need to protect, preserve and restore our sensitive environment," she says.

Tauranga Environment Centre Charitable Trust also received a grant this round of $6,982.66 to purchase supplies for making pest chew cards, tracking tunnels, monitoring tools and traps to target a range of mammalian predators.

The grant will also support the trust to run their Predator Free project. This project interacts with schools to allow children to develop an understanding of the biodiversity in New Zealand and the mammalian predators that put this at risk.

David Hodge, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says the Foundation is passionate about supporting causes that better the lives of young people and help the natural environment.

"We are happy to know that we can support young people like Mahi to lead a better quality of life. It is also great to see organisations focussing on bettering New Zealand’s environment," he says.

For information on the recipients in your region who received a grant this round, visit

The closing date for the next round of Mazda Foundation applications is 30 June 2021. For more information or to download an application form, visit

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