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05/04/2016 - Sustainability news

Z installs first fast start EV charging station in Christchurch

Z Energy today installed the first electric vehicle rapid charging station at a service station in Christchurch, at Z Moorhouse Avenue, Addington. The station was officially opened by Christchurch Deputy Mayor, Vicki Buck.

The installation is part of Z’s commitment to install six rapid-charge electric vehicle charging stations at sites in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch over the following weeks.

The rapid-charge stations are being supplied by Charge Net and will be available for public use. The Tritium fast chargers draw up to 400 volts of electricity and can charge a standard electric vehicle in the time it takes a customer to buy and drink a cup of coffee.

Z Sustainability Manager, Gerri Ward, said the move was part of Z’s continued commitment to moving from being a part of the climate change problem to the heart of the solution.

“We’re not an oil company, we’re a transport energy company and we’re committed to meeting the needs of our customers, whatever they might be.

“We also want to be at the front of the push towards a cleaner, more sustainable New Zealand and to give Kiwis choices to use more renewable fuels.”

The electric charging stations will cost approximately $5 - $10 for the vast majority of users (i.e. a Nissan Leaf) to fill up, and the charge time from empty will be approximately 10 – 25 minutes, as opposed to up to eight hours for a conventional slow charge.  A 25 minute charge will “fill up” an entry level electric vehicle like a Leaf and allow customers to travel around 120 kilometres,

“These stations provide another option to keep our customers moving regardless of the vehicle they drive or the fuel they need,” said Gerri.

Chief Executive Steve West from Charge Net has found working with Z Energy to be a great experience, and is pleased to see the iconic Kiwi brand charging into the future. 

“Z Energy is a great company to work and collaborate with.  We are excited to see these stations go live,” he said. 

04/04/2016 - General News

Groups to share in $1 million with Z’s Good in the Hood

More than 800 local community groups across New Zealand will get the support they deserve this year with their share of more than $1 million thanks to Z’s Good in the Hood.

In its fifth consecutive year, the 2016 Good in the Hood finalists were selected from more than 4,000 applications, with the decision around which groups would be successful this year proving just as challenging as in previous years.

“As a Kiwi company, our customers expect us to give back to local neighbourhoods, to support the things that matter locally and to make a positive contribution right across New Zealand,” said Z’s Community Manager, Christine Langdon.

“We received more than 4,000 Good in the Hood applications this year – and these are all really deserving local groups, both big and small, who are making a real difference in their communities, so having to narrow it down to only four groups per station proved quite difficult.”

In the ultimate show of keeping it local, each of the successful groups will now be up for their share of the $4,000 up for grabs at each of the 213 Z sites across New Zealand.

Z customers will have the opportunity to decide how much each group gets by voting with an orange token each time they visit Z during the month of May.

“We reckon it doesn’t seem right for a bunch Z employees to make decisions about what matters most to the many diverse communities we have here in New Zealand,” Christine said.  

“At the end of the day, we know our local Z service stations teams and their customers are best placed to be making those decisions, and that’s why we leave the voting up to them.”

In addition to the $4,000 available per Z site, an extra $1,000 will be given to each local Z retailer to use throughout the year, supporting other neighbourhood projects and initiatives as they see fit.

To view the full list of this year’s groups, visit www.z.co.nz/GoodintheHood.

01/04/2016 - General News

Kiwi communities to benefit from nationwide defibrillator installation

Kiwi communities will have easier access to life-saving technology thanks to Z Energy’s nationwide installation of more than 200 defibrillators at Z service stations across New Zealand.

Last month, Z purchased the 214 defibrillators from St John. Work is underway to ensure every Z service station across the country has a defibrillator installed.  

Z’s Retail Sales Manager, Rob McDonald, said the decision to install the defibrillators was a no-brainer.

“We know that defibrillators significantly increase the chance of someone surviving a cardiac arrest, and we reckon making defibrillators available to our site staff, to our customers and to communities across New Zealand is just one small step we can take toward helping keep our communities safe.

“While this initiative comes at a cost, at the end of the day these machines only need to save one life for their installation to be worthwhile.”

St John Chief Executive, Peter Bradley, says New Zealand has a relatively low rate of public access to defibrillators.

“Early defibrillation has the potential to double or treble the survival rate from cardiac arrest, and we support any initiative to make this life-saving technology more publicly available.

“Our partnership with Z allows us to make the most of their nationwide service station network and place defibrillators in easy to find locations all over New Zealand.”

The initiative is just one of a number of exciting opportunities to come out of Z’s recent partnership with St John, Rob said.

“This year, as part of our partnership with St John, we’re going to be supporting their annual appeal week with the sale of first aid plasters at Z sites, with all proceeds going to St John.

“We’re also really keen to ensure our own Z team are well-equipped when it comes to CPR and the use of defibrillators, so we’ve invited St John to come in and run two in-house sessions covering both CPR and AED demonstrations.”

The St John annual appeal week runs from Monday 4 April through until Sunday, 10 April. The first aid plasters go on sale at Z services stations from today and will be available through until Sunday, 10 April or while stocks last.

 

29/03/2016 - General News

Employing people with disabilities good for business, customers

People with disabilities can look forward to even more employment opportunities thanks to a partnership between Z Energy and specialist employment service Workbridge, announced today.

A new Workbridge Employer Ambassador role, created in partnership with Z Energy, will play a key role in helping employers across New Zealand proactively create more opportunities for people with disabilities.

From 18 April, former Z retailer from the Waikato Region and the winner of this year’s Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year award, Selwyn Cook, will be taking on the role.

“I’ve always been committed to reflecting diversity in the workplace, and to ensuring businesses are more inclusive of those living with disabilities,” Selwyn says.

“My own experience operating a number of Z service stations in the Waikato region has shown me that people with a disability are highly committed to their work, and I have experienced no performance management issues.

“Taking up the new Workbridge Employer Ambassador role will enable me to work alongside other New Zealand organisations to help them build inclusive workplaces that more accurately reflect our society, and I’m really excited to have that opportunity.”

Workbridge Chief Executive, Grant Cleland, says both the partnership with Z and the creation of this Workbridge Employer Ambassador role is an exciting opportunity for employers to get support from Selwyn to access the often hidden talent pool of Workbridge jobseekers.

“At Workbridge, our focus is simply on linking the right people with the right jobs. That means looking beyond any disabilities our jobseekers may have and simply ensuring the jobseekers we put forward have the best skills and attitude for that role.

“Selwyn has employed over 85 of our jobseekers so he has personally experienced the benefits of employing our jobseekers and has found that this has improved his bottom line.”

Z’s Community Manager, Christine Langdon, says the decision to partner with Workbridge was a really easy one.

“We’re committed to creating employment opportunities for people living with disabilities in our communities – we reckon it’s good for business, good for customers, good for communities and good for New Zealand.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to team up with Workbridge to create this new Employer Ambassador role, and we’re even more thrilled that we’ve been able to put one of the wider Z family, former Z retailer Selwyn Cook, into this role – given his commitment to the employment of people with disability over the years, we reckon he’s a perfect fit.”

24/03/2016 - Sustainability news

Z installs fast start EV charging stations in Wellington, Petone

Z Energy today installed the first fast charge electric vehicle charging stations at service stations in Wellington, at Z Vivian Street and Z Petone. The Z Vivian Street charging station was officially opened by Wellington Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown.

The installations are part of Z’s commitment to install six rapid-charge electric vehicle charging stations at sites in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch over the coming weeks.

The rapid-charge stations are being supplied by Charge Net NZ and will be available for public use. The Tritium fast chargers draw up to 400 volts of electricity and can charge a standard electric vehicle in the time it takes a customer to buy and drink a cup of coffee.

Z Sustainability Manager, Gerri Ward, said the move was part of Z’s continued commitment to moving from being a part of the climate change problem to the heart of the solution.

“We’re not an oil company, we’re a transport energy company and we’re committed to meeting the needs of our customers, whatever they might be.

“We also want to be at the front of the push towards a cleaner, more sustainable New Zealand and to give Kiwis choices to use more renewable fuels.”

The electric charging stations will cost approximately $5 - $10 for the vast majority of users (i.e. a Nissan Leaf) to fill up, and the charge time from empty will be approximately 10 – 25 minutes, as opposed to up to eight hours for a conventional slow charge. A 25 minute charge will “fill up” an entry level electric vehicle like a Leaf and allow customers to travel around 120 kilometres.

“These stations provide another option to keep our customers moving regardless of the vehicle they drive or the fuel they need,” said Gerri.

Chief Executive Steve West from Charge Net NZ has found working with Z Energy to be a great experience, and is pleased to see the iconic Kiwi brand charging into the future.

“Z Energy is a great company to work and collaborate with. We are excited to see these stations go live,” he said.

24/02/2016 - General News

Cantabrians with dementia benefit from new aquatic movement group

For people living with dementia, the opportunity to continue to lead fulfilling, purposeful and socially-enriched lives can make all the difference to those touched by the often misunderstood illness.

Alzheimers Canterbury supports people affected by dementia, helping them to live well and offering free services including social work, carer support groups, an extensive social programme, volunteer services, community education, and therapeutic and activity groups.   

When they applied for Z’s Good in the Hood community initiative in 2015, the group were hoping to add an aquatic movement group to the activities programme they deliver to local people affected by dementia.   

“Activity in water not only improves the functional capacity of people with dementia but also has significant effects on other aspects of quality of life such as sleep, appetite, behavioral and psychological symptoms, depression, and falls. Additionally, exercise can improve a person's overall sense of well-being and positively enhance their sociability,” says Alzheimer’s Canterbury spokesperson Annelies Basten.

As a result of the more than $1,200 of community support they received through Good in the Hood, Alzheimer’s Canterbury’s dream of having an aquatic group for people with dementia has become a reality.

“Thanks to Good in the Hood, we have been able to launch two Watermemories groups in not one but two different Canterbury locations – Rangiora’s Dudley and Christchurch’s Wharenui swimming pools.”

“The $1,246 donation from Good in the Hood 2015 was used to cover transport, phone calls (reminder calls to clients and management of the project) and pool fees, and we’re incredibly grateful to Z for Good in the Hood and the support it has given us in getting Watermemories off the ground.”

According to Ms. Basten, the groups are very popular, and a huge number of clients are keen to attend weekly.

“It’s a real buzz to see how many people enjoy the social connection and fun of being in the pool together. The activity has a number of benefits, too, from reminding them of positive times spent in the water before their illness to ensuring social connectedness, purposeful activity and exercise in the present.”

The Watermemories groups have also contributed to the quality of life for the full-time care partners who enjoy a few hours to themselves, providing a very welcome break for the care partners.

18/02/2016 - General News

Cutting-edge crime prevention tech rolling out across New Zealand

Z Energy is rolling out the latest technology to keep its sites, staff and customers safe across New Zealand licence plate recognition software.

Z’s General Manager of Retail, Mark Forsyth, said the new technology has been successfully piloted and is now being rolled out across the country. The licence plate recognition software is the latest in a string of state-of-the-art security measures, following smoke cannons, SelectaDNA mist and an $8 million digital CCTV network on every site.

“This technology, coupled with Z’s cutting edge digital CCTV technology, is already making a huge difference on Z sites, particularly in preventing ‘drive-offs’ which cost Z around $1.5 million per year,” said Mark.

“When we identify a vehicle involved in a drive off, the number plate is captured in the system and if that vehicle comes onto any Z site again, the technology immediately recognises the plate, focuses cameras on the vehicle and driver and turns the pump on to pre-pay, preventing the vehicle from filling up without paying.

“Additionally, the quality footage we now get through this software and digital CCTV aids the police in identifying people and increases the odds of catching them. Already in this pilot we’ve reduced drive-offs by up to 80 per cent at some sites,” he said.

“Regardless of where you do it, if you steal from Z, anywhere in the country, you’re very likely to be caught.”

Mark Forsyth said Z had partnered with Auror, an Auckland-based company, pioneering the development of an innovative crime prevention platform and Focus Digital Security, New Zealand’s leading implementer of ANPR technology, to deliver this solution across the country.

He said that with Auror and Focus, Z was also working on applying the new technology so that if a stolen vehicle comes onto a Z site an automatic alert is sent directly to Police alerting them to the vehicle’s location.

Getting this information immediately to police will be really helpful as often stolen vehicles are involved in robberies and burglaries. We’ve got some incredibly smart technology on Z sites that now makes committing a crime on a Z site one of the dumbest things you can do.

“We want to get the message out loud and clear that we’re not going to stand for anything that makes our sites, our staff or our customers unsafe. If anyone’s thinking about driving off without paying or doing anything illegal or unsafe on our sites, don’t bother – the chances of getting away with anything are incredibly low and the chances of getting caught have never been higher.”

Jonathan Hill: 04 498 0212 

03/02/2016 - General News

Vegan pies becomes a permanent fixture at Z

Due to huge demand and a petition requesting the continuation of its availability, Z Energy’s famous Mexican vegan pie will become a permanent fixture in Z stores.

In July, Z ran a ‘DIY Pie’ competition asking people to submit and then vote on their own pie recipes. With almost 4,000 recipes submitted and, with a highly organised vegan community, the winning pie was a Mexican vegan pie designed by ‘Gemma from Auckland’, which went on sale for a month starting on 28 December.

Z’s pie aficionado, Mark Forsyth, said for a company that committed to listening to its customers, it was blindingly obvious that Z’s customers had spoken.

“We’re just so pleased with the success of Gemma’s pie. It basically sold out across the country within the first week of it being stocked and we’ve struggled to keep up with demand over the rest of the month.

“We never expected to be in this position and we’re now gearing up to get the pie into permanent production. This will take a few weeks and we expect Gemma’s pie will be back in stores on a permanent basis in early March.

Mark Forsyth said Z had learned a lot about the challenges of producing vegan food throughout the process.

“In particular we’re grateful for the support and understanding of the vegan community, including Gemma, once we learned a pastry conditioner in the pies contained minute traces of an animal-derived product.

“As a result of learning about this we not only removed it from the pie, but from all of Z’s pies and we’ve taken the opportunity to review every ingredient that goes into our pies to ensure they are what people expect,” he said.

“Z’s committed to stocking a broader range of options in our stores and this pie and the process we went through while we were making it have taught us a lot and helped us take some important small steps towards that goal.”

Jonathan Hill: 04 498 0212

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