Z Energy tops up Good in the Hood voting with over $20,000 in additional funding to local charities in Northland

Community January 18, 2024

Z Energy (Z) has provided a funding boost to two organisations doing important work in their local communities in Te Tai Tokerau Northland. The funding is in addition to the more than 500 different charities and neighbourhood organisations across the motu which Z has supported through Good in the Hood, with each of Z’s service stations giving away $5,000 to local communities.

The regional boost initiative arose after discussions at Z about how to best support the most in-need communities across the Z station network. After analysing the index of deprivation, it was decided that additional funds would be donated to community groups across Kaikohe, Kaitaia and Kawerau, with local retailers working with staff to determine which organisations would be supported.

Ultimately, Kaikohe Foodbank in Kaikohe and Fresh Start 20/20 Family Services & Foodbank Inc. in Kaitaia were selected as the worthy recipients of the $21,000 funding boost, with the funds being distributed equally between the groups.

Z’s Head of Community & Sustainability, Abbie Bull, said  “It’s fantastic to be able to provide an uplift in support to Kaikohe Foodbank (Mid North Budgeting Services Trust) and Fresh Start Kaitaia at this time of the year. We’re pleased to be able to support these groups providing essential services in the Northland community through the Regional Boost initiative”.

Kaikohe Foodbank provides budgeting and financial support services – including food assistance – in the Far North region of Kaikohe and its surrounds. Chairperson of the service, Lorraine Cochrane, says that the funding will help them at a time when their services are particularly in demand.

“The holiday period can be a particularly busy time of year for us, so the extra funding is particularly well timed. It will enable us to continue providing emergency food parcels at a time when we otherwise may have had to turn people away,” says Cochrane.

Likewise, Fresh Start 20/20 Family Services & Foodbank, which provided over 1,653 food parcels feeding over 2,377 adults and 2,732 children in the year to March 2023, says that demand was particularly high during the holiday season. Manager, Sophie Smith-Cressy, says that the service is a last resort for those in the area who are struggling to feed themselves and their families, and where it has consistent demand throughout the year, there was a peak over the summer season.

“Without a doubt this funding boost could not have come at a better time”, said Smith-Cressy.

Z retailer Clint Nel, who operates both the Kaitaia and Kaikohe Z service stations in Northland, says that the donation was made prior to Christmas and was greatly appreciated by the organisations.

"The festive season is a time for reflection and giving back to those who may be facing difficulties. At Z, we understand the importance of community led initiatives, especially during these challenging times. We are delighted to be in a position to contribute to work alongside community organisations, who do amazing mahi across Northland,” he says.

This year’s Good in the Hood campaign helped Z exceed $10 million in total contributions to community organisations and charities throughout Aotearoa New Zealand since 2011.