Relocating Brown Kiwis, space science and educational resources are among the many projects supported by Mazda Foundation’s latest round of funding.
More than $108,000 was gifted to 31 individuals and organisations across the country. Rodney-based Tamahunga Trappers Incorporated received $2,347 to help with the release of 40 North Island Brown Kiwi from Motuora Island onto Mt Tamahunga. The funds will also support ongoing monitoring of the birds to observe their survival and breeding patterns.
The group has been working in the Mt Tamahunga area since 2010 with the aim of reintroducing native fauna to provide a safe habitat for threatened birds from nearby Tawharanui Regional Park.
Eliane Genevieve Lagnaz, Tamahunga Trappers’ treasurer, says reducing the number of pests allows native species to flourish and will encourage more birds from other protected areas in the region to become established at Mt Tamahunga.
“The success of the operation will be measured by a strict monitoring regime. After release the survival of the birds is checked monthly for a duration of three months. Thereafter they will be monitored every three months for survival and breeding. After 10 years a sample of birds will be caught to ascertain the population status,” she says.
House of Science NZ Charitable Trust received $10,000 to purchase science kits and resources for its South and West Auckland branches. House of Science NZ designs and develops science resource kits that educators use to teach science in a fun and engaging way. Each kit contains experiments and activities across a wide range of topics
including microbes, climate change, future foods, and biosecurity.
Sandra Kirikiri, House of Science NZ Business Development Manager, says the organisation has a vision that every child in New Zealand is scientifically literate.
“Our purpose is to empower teachers to raise scientific literacy by providing comprehensive science resources for use in all primary and intermediate teaching environments.
“An understanding of science is vital in today’s world, not only for the ability to be able to participate usefully in society but also for our economy. By working with the children of today we are helping to build a scientifically literate community for tomorrow,” she says.
The science theme continued through to the Omaka Observatory Charity Trust in Marlborough which received $5,886 to purchase a 9.25” Celestron Evolution portable field telescope.
The Trust is building a crater observatory in the Omaka Valley near Blenheim which will be free to use for school groups in the region. The observatory will create an engaging outdoor classroom experience, cover earth space science, and have a strong focus on tātai arorangi traditional Māori astronomical knowledge.
Lee Harper, Omaka Observatory Charity Trust Chairperson, says the organisation’s aim is to provide every student from year six up who lives in Marlborough with free access to the observatory.
“We will be teaching everything from tātai arorangi, which had a huge impact on the lives of early Māori, through to space geography and navigation. Students will also be able to access NCEA credits from the courses,” she says.
David Hodge, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says the Foundation is grateful that they are in a position to be able to give back to people and organisations in our community to enable them to continue their remarkable work.
“We are so proud to be able to provide equipment and assistance for conservation of our native kiwi as well as providing educational resources for the next generation,” he says.
The Mazda Foundation runs three rounds of funding to help Kiwis in need. It is funded through a contribution from the sale of every new Mazda in New Zealand, with more than $4 million being gifted back to the community since its inception in 2005.