Mazda foundation


2008 Makeovers

Four makeovers were completed in 2008.  To learn more, check out the links below.


Ohaeawai School

In June 2008 Mazda New Zealand and Project Crimson teamed up with Pacific Motor Group (Whangarei Mazda dealership) and pupils and volunteers from Ohaeawai School to create a walking trail and bush to attract native birds including the Kukupa - the school's representative symbol.

Many volunteers turned out to help transform the area that was previously unused by students as it was a job too large for the school to tackle on their own.  Principal Lee Whitelaw was delighted that after many years of trying, this area has now been changed into an interesting, safe area for children to play and learn.

Mazda Foundation chairman Andrew Clearwater said it was heart-warming to see such community spirit at the schools.  "It really just takes a day like this to be organised and people want to get stuck in and help." 

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Ohaupo School

On 12 April 2008, about 100 people gathered at Ohaupo Primary School, a rural school of only 150 students.  There in force was the team from Mazda New Zealand as well as the local dealership, Wilksbrooke Mazda which sent the “extended family” including dealer principals’ Grant and Shirley Wilks as well as dealership staff, children and grandchildren.  Together with Project Crimson volunteers and students, teachers and friends of Ohaupo School everyone mucked in – and the result is impressive.

A central hub has been created, which is now the focus point of the school linking new classrooms to the school and to existing native bush.  Native trees were planted, grass seed sowed, planter boxes and bench seats were built from donated materials and a koru-influenced paving design completed the new look.  A natural bark path through the native bush which has existed by the school since before the school was built in 1870 was created and there are further plans for mosaics and a sundial.  

Ohaupo School teacher Linda Clarke says the school has just begun the journey to become an Enviroschool.

“Projects like this provide an opportunity for students, staff and parents to be involved in creative thinking, environmental action and the task of maintaining a garden into the future.” 

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Wainui Beach School

It was all hands on deck in April 2008 as Mazda staff, Gisborne Motors Ltd, Project Crimson volunteers together with an impressive turnout from the local community pulled together to transform the front entrance of Wainui Beach School.

More than 50 volunteers, as young as five and as old as 80, helped to plant dozens of native and medicinal trees near the school's front entrance.

Acting Principal Jo Arnold was delighted with the turnout from the community. "It was such a wonderful day, and it was great to see the partnership between the children, parents and the community . . . all working together to create something lasting, that will give pleasure to the wider community.”

The garden covers an area roughly 40x6 metres, and is expected to create an area to attract native birds and offer children a place to learn, relax, and play. People in the area are encouraged to visit the garden, which is also open to the public.

"We talked about how we wanted to create a place where children could come and reference medicinal plants and native plants, so people can see what kind of plants can grow here," said Ms Arnold.


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Karitane School

Pupils and staff at Karitane School, a tiny rural school (19 pupils) located on the coast 40 minutes north of Dunedin, were joined by 60 volunteers including Mazda New Zealand staff, the team from Armstrong Motors (Dunedin Mazda dealership), Project Crimson volunteers and the local community.  As a result of their digging and planting there is now a garden along the front of the school that acts as a buffer between the road and the play area.

The kids are really proud of their new area, said teacher Helen Carter.  "Every child, except for one who had a sick grandma, was here with bells on.  Doing it this way gives everyone a real sense of ownership." 

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