About Z

Emergency Services tops with New Zealand communities

25/06/2014 - General News

Sheena Thomas

The voting phase of Z's Good in the Hood programme is over and 656 groups throughout New Zealand have already received over $1million relative to how hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders voted.

Votes were cast at 210 Z service stations throughout New Zealand, where customers got to decide between four community groups. A by-product of this process, with such a huge nationwide sample, is that it has provided an insight into what is important to New Zealanders in their local communities and what they want to support.

Mark Forsyth General Manager Retail for Z said: “Analysing the results of where New Zealanders wanted to show their support has been a really interesting exercise in providing a snapshot of the concerns of New Zealand communities across the board.”

The category that overpoweringly received the most votes across the country was „emergency services‟, which received almost twice as many votes as the next highest category. These services across New Zealand have received $221,600.

Mark said “While on the face of it this was surprising, once we thought about the fact that New Zealand has 14,000 kms of coastline, making us the 10th longest in the world; we have a high percentage of people who get involved with outdoor recreation; our ambulance services are charitable trusts; as are our Air emergency services which are a vital life line in a country which is largely rural and has some very rugged territory, it wasn‟t so surprising after all.

“The second highest category for votes was for organisations that support people with cancer and their families. They received $120,359.

“This makes sense when you think how cancer affects most of us at some point in our lives. We may be diagnosed with cancer ourselves or have family members, friends or neighbours with the disease. Over 22,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed every year.

“Emergency services and cancer support organisations provide services that could be needed by any one of us at any time.

“We think that across New Zealand, this has impacted on how people cast their votes,” Mark said.

The category to get the third highest number of votes was organisations involved in supporting and helping babies and young children and their families. These three groupings have together received over half of the total funds distributed to neighbourhoods throughout New Zealand as part of Z‟s Good in the Hood programme.

Broadly speaking the groups fell into twelve categories of groups which provide support and care for children and babies, youths, the aged, people with health problems (not cancer), cancer, emergency services, people with disabilities; budgeting advice, community patrols, community houses and groups, schools, victims, and people who need help with food.

Mark said: “The Good in the Hood programme came about because we wanted our 210 Z service stations to be at the heart of their neighbourhoods, with local operations benefiting local people,” said Mark.

The criteria for participation for the groups was that the funds had to help people who need it; be for a specific project; and the groups had to be active in the service station‟s neighbourhood.

Every Z service station in New Zealand supported four neighbourhood groups that had applied to be part of the programme. Customers making a purchase at a Z station during March were given an orange token and invited to vote for the organisation they wished to support.

A further $1,000 per service station was also set aside for Z‟s local retailers to support other neighbourhood projects as they arise through the year.

“We have been incredibly impressed by the calibre of applications received for the programme, and have been humbled by the passion and commitment demonstrated by many of these groups and the amazing work they‟re doing in their local neighbourhoods.

“These are tough economic times, but these groups have an unwavering focus on helping people, and as a Kiwi company we want to help them make a difference for New Zealanders. A great outcome for Z and the community has also been the continued involvement of Z site staff with these groups beyond just the cash from Good in the Hood,” Mark said.

The funding for the twelve categories was distributed as shown in the list below. To see how much funding your favourite neighbourhood group received, visit www.z.co.nz/Groups.

Emergency services $221,600

Cancer support groups $120,359

Children and babies $111,035

Community Groups $89,491

Disability support 64,180

Victim support $56,987

Other health issues $52,897

Supporting youth $45,388

Food banks etc. $41,143

Aged support $24,082

Schools $6649

Budgeting $3,140

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