watch: TREEmendous transformations

It’s been another busy year for TREEmendous. Backed by the Mazda Foundation and Mazda brand ambassador Riley Elliott (pictured), the team has visited five schools and helped create outdoor spaces for students to learn from nature in an authentic environment. Coromandel Area School restored a stream by planting hundreds of native and wetland plants to help the aquatic animals to thrive once again, while Konini Primary School in Lower Hutt created a walkway with seating surrounded by native plants and shrubs.

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TREEmendous work by Hukerenui School pupils in Northland (featured above) saw hundreds of bee-friendly trees and plants take root, while NZ natives and fruit trees – not to mention a herb and vegetable garden – were the order of the day at Te Uku School in Raglan. And Aparima College at Riverton began its plan to revamp part of its grounds. Judging is currently under way for the next lot of TREEmendous school submissions in 2020. For more information and to see our previous TREEmendous transformations click the link below.

 Visit TREEmendous

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Mazda Helps Riding for the Disabled

This year, the Mazda Foundation has donated more than $113,000 to worthy causes. A contribution from the sale of every new Mazda in New Zealand helps support people and projects across the country. Among many other projects, the fund has gifted $5,000 to buy two new therapy horses for Riding for the Disabled (RDA) in Hamilton, pictured above. It’s also helped Goldfields School in Paeroa to purchase a sensory seating system for its high-needs students. And Awakeri Playcentre, a parent co-op organisation that provides early childhood education for children from birth to six years old, has been able to buy animal finger puppets and Māori performing arts costumes. To read about other good causes the Mazda Foundation supports or to apply for funding, click the link below.

Mazda Foundation

Mazda Boosts Auckland Zoo’s Conservation Efforts

Kiwi students are getting to participate in hands-on conservation activities thanks to a partnership between Auckland Zoo and the Mazda Foundation. The Foundation is providing financial support and a Mazda BT-50 vehicle to help the zoo expand its Outreach Conservation Education programmes for students in years 5-13. “Mazda has long supported the zoo, supplying us with vehicles to help the work we do for threatened species all around Aotearoa,” said Auckland Zoo director, Kevin Buley. “We’re delighted that the Mazda Foundation is now helping us to nurture and grow our future conservationists.”

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Mazda New Zealand is a proud sponsor of the Vodafone Warriors. To celebrate the Warriors’ 25th season, Mazda provided a specially wrapped BT-50 for fans to share their memories and messages of support for the team. The all-new Mazda GameFace Facebook filter was recently launched with a little help from Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck for fans to show their support for the team on game day. Try it and tag @MazdaNewZealand.

All-New Mazda3 Turns Heads

The all-new Mazda3 has made quite the entrance in New Zealand. Leading reviewers praised the new car.’s David Linklater noted that the new Mazda3 is “much more refined and comfort takes a big step up”. Peter Louisson of New Zealand Autocar added: “With its top materials and craftsmanship, along with a serious interior update, it has the substance to take on the premium brands.” The all-new Mazda3 features a matured Kodo design language that embodies the essence of Japanese aesthetics. The sporty hatch evokes a sense of excitement and freedom, while the sedan has sleek, elegant proportions that give the impression of a single brushstroke.

All-New Mazda3

Great New Zealand MX-5 Drives

In celebration of the MX-5’s 30th anniversary, Zoom-Zoom travelled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to drive each generation of car on the roads that helped inspire its design. You can read that story here. But you don’t need to travel to the UK for a great time in your MX-5 – here are some of this country’s best drives to inspire your next road trip.

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1. Arthur’s Pass sits on the SH73 and is celebrated as the country’s highest mountain pass. Keep a look out for the Otira Viaduct (pictured above).

2. The Great Coast Road is considered one of the best driving roads in the world. With the Tasman on one side and craggy rainforest on the other, it’s unparalleled for scenery.

3. Between Omarama and Cromwell lies the Lindis Pass, a mountainous, desolate stretch of road that sits in sharp contrast to the rest of the country’s lush nature.

4. Drive into the Coromandel Peninsula for some of the North Island’s highlights, including Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach.

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Mazda Team Joest: Hattrick heroes

Mazda Team Joest has enjoyed a serious of triumphs in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with both cars topping the podium in a string of impressive victories.

The first came on June 30 at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen (at Watkins Glen), where the Mazda cars finished in first and second place, recording the manufacturer's first-ever win in the series. Just one week later and the team was at it again, this time at the Sportscar Grand Prix Presented by Acura at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on July 7 (pictured above). A race littered with incident and yellow flags eventually saw the two Mazdas come out on top, again finishing first and second.

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But perhaps the most exciting victory came on August 4 at Road America, where the 2.40 hour sprint race climaxed in frantic style on the final lap. Mazda driver Harry Tincknell (in the number 55 car) went head to head with Dane Cameron in his Acura Team Penske car for the victory and, despite nearly conceding first place as he went wide in turn five, Tincknell managed to take the chequered flag by a margin of only 0.227 seconds. The sister car, piloted by Oliver Jarvis, came home in an impressive third to compete a hugely successful few months for the team.

You can watch the last few dramatic laps of the Road America race above, and discover more about Mazda’s incredible motorsport history here.

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top red dot award for mazda3

The all-new Mazda3 has claimed the prestigious Red Dot: Best of the Best prize at the 2019 product design awards. Red Dot’s highest accolade is given to products whose designs are considered visionary and groundbreaking. The new Mazda3 was acclaimed for its less-is-more approach to design. Yasutake Tsuchida, chief designer of the car, explained: “Beauty through subtraction is the key principle behind the Mazda3’s design. But it’s more than just minimalism. Coming up with such a pure design requires much effort and refinement through trial and error.”

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Red Dot’s international jury selected fewer than 100 products – from more than 5,500 entries from 55 countries – for the Best of the Best prize. Previous Red Dot prizes for Mazda’s Kodo – Soul of Motion models were awarded to the MX-5 RF (2017), MX-5 soft-top, CX-3 and Mazda2 (all 2015), the previous-generation Mazda3 (2014) and Mazda6 (2013).

All-New Mazda3

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South Auckland-born baseball star Jason Matthews is a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina Upstate. We talk to him about his ambition to graduate in the next year and sign for a team in the United States. The Mazda Foundation is proud to have supported Jason on his journey.

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When did you discover your passion for baseball?
It was while living in Australia, as I had family playing it there. When I came back to New Zealand, I continued to play and found a passion for the sport when I made my first NZ baseball squad. From there it opened a door to lots of opportunities to travel the world and attend some Major League baseball academies in Amsterdam, Arizona and the Philippines.

Why do you think baseball is growing in popularity in New Zealand?
The younger generation like that they get to travel overseas and visit places they may not otherwise get the opportunity to see, while also playing a sport they love and representing our country at a high level.

Who has been the biggest influence on your baseball journey?
Having lost my parents to cancer when I was six, my sister Sue has been the biggest influence, as she raised me. She has sacrificed everything for me to be able to play and study in America.

Is it difficult to balance your academic studies with baseball training?
It can be difficult to balance study and baseball – sometimes we have to sit our exams before everyone else to fit in travel for away games. But mostly we’ll head back to university and get home late. If I have an exam the next day, I stay up late to study before I can go to sleep. So in that sense I find it difficult to balance studies with my responsibilities as an athlete.

What do you do to relax in your spare time?
I like to chill with my friends, my girlfriend and my dog – I like taking my dog out to the baseball field when I have downtime.

What would be your advice to an aspiring young baseball player?
Work hard on and off the field, look after your body, and appreciate your coaches, your team-mates and your family/support crew. Also, never lose track of the bigger picture. But remember to have fun while doing it.

Do you find people in the States know much about New Zealand?
People don’t know where NZ is. They often think it’s in Europe, so I explain we’re next to Australia. They know where Australia is!

Mazda Foundation

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