OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COMMUNITY IS FUNDAMENTAL TO OUR SUCCESS
COMMUNITY SUPPORT & PARTNERSHIPS
We view community relationships as fundamental to our success. Accordingly we're committed to building enduring relationships based on mutual respect, active partnership and long-term commitment. We believe it's important for community relationships to actively contribute to enhancing the resiliency and quality of life for the community we live and work in.
This is achieved by establishing and maintaining relationships that contribute positively to the quality of life where we live and work, and by supporting partnerships that are mutually beneficial and deliver long-term sustainable results.
In addition to a biannual sponsorship and donations programme for Southland-based non-profit organisations, we also provide a Community Development Fund with Murihiku Rūnaka, a Tertiary Education Scholarship fund for students studying engineering at university, and a partnership with Southland Girls' High School to encourage young women to pursue careers in the engineering and science fields.
Murihiku Rūnaka and Rio Tinto/NZAS Community Development Fund
Thank you to everyone who applied in the first round for funding from the Murihiku Rūnaka – NZAS/Rio Tinto Community Fund.
The Community Fund, established in 2023, is intended to support projects within four focus areas that reflect the priorities of Rio Tinto/NZAS, Ngāi Tahu, and the wider community:
- Enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and health and wellbeing outcomes across the community.
- Inter-generational culture, heritage, conservation, and environmental outcomes.
- Unlocking human potential and community resilience through education, science and innovation, and workforce development.
- Contributing to the region’s economic development and climate transition by supporting businesses to expand and new industries to emerge.
We were overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of the applications received. We have worked to evaluate projects against our funding criteria and identified preferred projects to take forward for funding. We are now undertaking a due diligence process for preferred projects and won’t be in a position to finalise the successful applicants until this is complete.
Three 'funding buckets' supported the funding decisions. These include:
- Flagship Projects: Projects with transformative value for the region over the long-term; projects strongly focused on outcomes delivery, community reach and ability to self-sustain going forward; and potential for the Fund to be an active partner and/or decision-maker.
- Strategic Partnerships: Projects with clear outcomes delivered to the beneficiary community; ability to become self-sustaining over time; and the Fund would be an active partner.
- Community Activators: Quick-win, short-term projects which deliver clear value for beneficiaries but are not necessarily linked to long-term outcomes; meet a need and are valued by receiving communities; and/or help build partnerships locally.
The amount of funding committed to this first round of applicants is expected to be about $1.4 million, which is an indication of the number of worthwhile applications received.
As such, we have decided that we will not hold a second application round in November 2023, as originally planned, but will combine the second and third application rounds into one round to be opened in February 2024.
We are in the process of contacting all organisations who submitted applications to provide feedback and look forward to receiving another set of applications in 2024.
Thank you to everyone who put time and effort into submitting an application, which were all assessed against our funding criteria. It truly was the best of Southland on display!
NZAS Sponsorships & Donations programme
We support our community through a twice-yearly funding programme for Southland-based non-profit organisations.
The second round opens on August 1 (closes September 30).
Funding up to $5,000 can be sought for:
- Health and safety initiatives.
- Education programmes.
- Sport, recreation and wellbeing activities that support a healthy and active community.
- Cultural activities that promote inclusion and diversity.
- Initiatives that raise awareness of, protect and enhance the environment.
- Activities that acknowledge significant days/events to encourage community connection.
Please see the guidelines/application form for details. Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee approval.
NZAS Tertiary Education Scholarship
This scholarship is open to students from Southland who intend to study engineering at university. Proof of entry into an engineering degree course will be required prior to payment of the scholarship.
The scholarship entitles the recipients to $2,000 in the first year of study. For second and successive years of study, either Christmas vacation employment will be provided (where available and subject to fitness for the role) or a scholarship payment of $2,000 per annum made.
Dependent children of NZAS employees are not eligible to apply for this scholarship.
- from Southland
- completing Year 13 in 2023
- undertaking tertiary study for the first time in 2024 at a tertiary institution outside of Southland; or
- undertaking further study towards an engineering-related discipline
Applications should include:
Scholarship application period:
Open: October 1
Close: October 31
Southland Girls' High School Educational Partnership
The partnership between Southland Girls' High School (SGHS) and NZAS is designed to encourage young women to pursue careers in the engineering and science fields.
NZAS hosted four SGHS students in 2008 as part of the pilot education partnership, and it proved so successful that it is now held annually.
The first day of the girls' six-day placement is spent undertaking inductions on site, spending time with a number of female employees to gain career advice, and participating on a plant tour.
Once inducted, the students then spend the next week working on their chosen projects including gathering, testing and analysing data. At the end of the project week they present their project findings.
NZAS has identified 31 cultural heritage places located on land owned and managed by the smelter.
They include sites associated with early Māori settlement such as middens/ovens, burials and an adze (pictured right) workshop, as well as European burials and structures.
Wahi tapu, wahi taoka and mahinga kai are also present on Tiwai Peninsula. A Cultural Heritage Management System Plan is in place.
We recognise and value the status of Te Rūnanga o Awarua as manawhenua of the land on which the smelter is situated. We value their connection to the whenua/land and sharing of their knowledge relating to appropriate care and management of the area.
NZAS Southland Science & Technology Fair
NZAS has been the major sponsor of the annual NZAS Southland Science & Technology Fair since 2003.
The smelter not only provides sponsorship, but also judges and administration support, while an NZAS team members is on the committee.
Students ranging from Years 5 to 13 are required to investigate a topic of their choice using a scientific method of hypothesis, method, test and conclusion.