15 Oct 2018
By Wright Communications
Toyota Financial Services has signed a vehicle sponsorship agreement with Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Surf Life Saving Northern Region which will establish one of the largest not-for-profit vehicle fleets in New Zealand.
Announced yesterday (Thursday 11 October, 11am) at the Marine Rescue Centre in Auckland with some of the new fleet on display, the three-year, 48-car deal is valued at more than $380,000 a year.
The agreement makes Toyota Financial Services the exclusive vehicle sponsor for Surf Life Saving New Zealand and sees the existing sponsorship relationship with Surf Life Saving Northern Region renewed. Each organisation will receive 15 sponsored vehicles to support regional lifesaving delivery and community education programmes, while the Grassroots Trust and Toyota Financial Services will also provide a further 16 4WD first-response vehicles to 13 northern region clubs and three Bay of Plenty clubs.
In addition, clubs nationwide will be able to access preferential lease deals for their vehicle needs, and Toyota Financial Services will be establishing a regular-giving programme from its customer base.
Toyota Financial Services Marketing and Insurance Manager Chris Stark says the decision to extend its existing Surf Life Saving Northern Region sponsorship to encompass the whole country was "a no-brainer."
"Surf lifesaving epitomises everything that is good about New Zealand communities. Here are volunteers giving up their spare time and training hard to make their local beaches safe. They need vehicles to do their job and by providing them, we can help the movement make its limited funds stretch further."
Stark says the partnership with surf lifesaving is a strong fit with Toyota's network of 65 dealerships around New Zealand, many of which are close to a surf club. "Our organisations have similar values around looking after the people we serve, and we wanted to give back to the communities that support us."
Grassroots Trust Chairman Martin Bradley: "Grassroots Trust provides local funding to local communities. We're very proud to be able to support surf lifesaving in the crucial role they play within the community."
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says the agreement is a huge and welcome boost for the lifesaving movement in New Zealand, as another patrolling season quickly approaches. "Our staff need access to high quality, reliable transport in order to support our network of clubs, so we are delighted to have a fleet that is exclusively Toyota. The regular giving programme is also a very exciting initiative and will be greatly welcomed by our clubs. As a network of volunteer-based charities, this kind of support from our commercial partners is really valuable and makes a real difference at the front-line.
"The agreement gives the lifesaving movement a lot of confidence that we will be able to support clubs in meeting the safety needs of the public at our beaches."
Surf Life Saving Northern Region CEO Matt Williams says the new deal is an important one to help the movement face its current challenges. "In the northern region we are increasingly being called on to assist with emergency callouts, often at remote, difficult-to-access sites - while also needing to maintain our regular patrols. Having access to fit-for-purpose, reliable vehicles will ensure our organisation can continue to respond to our communities' needs in a safe and sustainable way."
Williams says the majority of the vehicles will be delivered in the next few weeks ready for the coming summer.
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