The efforts of a Taranaki community-led conservation initiative will now be a lot easier – and a lot more visible – thanks to a new sponsorship partnership with Mazda New Zealand.
The East Taranaki Environment Collective, which works to protect the ecosystem and biodiversity of thousands of hectares of East Taranaki hill country, has been supplied with a 4WD Mazda BT-50 GSX double-cab ute by the company’s charitable trust the Mazda Foundation.
The brightly sign-written vehicle was welcomed by ETEC’s staff at its headquarters in Inglewood. The staff and volunteers were delighted with the new BT-50 – as up until now had been using a leased second-hand 2WD single-cab ute to access the remote hill country, frequently on unsealed roads.
ETEC general manager Rebecca Somerfield says the new vehicle will be boon for her organisation’s operations, particularly as regards the safety of staff.
“Our partnership with Mazda is fantastic news, and we are very grateful to the Mazda Foundation for supporting us in this way,” she says.
“At present our pest control operations cover more than 13,000 hectares of land, and we have recently received the necessary funding to increase this by another 5000 hectares. As a result, our staff numbers are growing, and our new Mazda BT-50 ute will prove invaluable in safely ferrying people and equipment through this remote territory.”
Mazda New Zealand managing director David Hodge says the conservation work being undertaken by ETEC is impressive, and the Mazda Foundation is delighted to support the organisation in this way.
“The Collective’s pest operations, through their trap network and goat control, are succeeding in providing a place for kiwi, kōkako, New Zealand long-tailed bat and other native species to thrive,” he says.
“The ETEC’s vision is to provide a place for the community and visitors to connect to New Zealand’s natural, cultural and historic heritage, by providing a place of protection and community connection. We at Mazda New Zealand are fully supportive of that.”