Sir Peter Blake Trust welcomes new NZ-VR partners

Over recent months several new partners have come on board to support activities in our strategic plan, and in particular our new outreach programme, NZ-VR.

NZ-VR has been developed for schools all over New Zealand and uses virtual reality to inspire students to take care of our marine environment.

The programme allows thousands of students to experience the rich biodiversity that exists below the surface of our ocean, as well as the damage that's been done to the ecosystem. Students come away from their NZ-VR lesson with actions they can take to protect the environment and gain a much deeper sense of kaitiakitanga.

Overall, the NZ-VR project aspires to give every New Zealander, regardless of location, socio-economic status or ethnicity, an unforgettable experience of the wildest parts of New Zealand’s realm.

We would like to extned a huge thank you to our new partners for their support which helps us to inspire people to lead a sustainable future for Aotearoa through our environmental programmes.

Hugo Charitable Trust
In December 2018, Hugo Charitable Trust donated $40,000 to the Sir Peter Blake Trust’s NZ-VR programme. The Hugo Charitable Trust (“Hugo”) was established in May 2017 by Maryanne Green in memory of her father, Hugh Green, to continue Hugh’s philanthropic legacy and to give back to the people of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Hugo has a broad range of charitable purposes, with a focus on education, social assistance programmes, and medical research. In the 2017-18 financial year, Hugo supported 72 different charities with a total of just over $3 million donated to benefit New Zealanders.

Hugo’s giving is guided by Maryanne’s wishes as well as the trustees’ views. Maryanne’s wishes are informed by the philanthropic work she did with her father Hugh. As the Trust’s website points out, Hugo is also about “adding value with new ways, new ideas and new directions”.

Hugo’s Donations Manager, Julia Hunter, notes that “this largely explains Hugo’s support for the NZ-VR programme. The educational value of using an innovation like virtual reality in the classroom to help young Kiwis experience the marine environment up close and help inspire them to take care of it is immense.” Visit:

Grassroots Trust
Grassroots Trust was established in 2003 to support sport, education and community sectors.  Great care is taken to ensure funds granted provide the greatest benefit to the communities in which they operate and many local communities have already benefited from a Grassroots Trust grant.

Grassroots Trust Chairman Martin Bradley said, “Grassroots Trust aims to provide grants to communities where the funds were generated.  We’re very proud to be able to support Sir Peter Blake Trust in the delivery of their NZ Virtual Reality Project; in particular to South Auckland schools”.

Sport, education and community groups within the Manukau and Manurewa-Papakura Wards are encouraged to submit an application to Grassroots Trust for funding and can seek further information and apply online at

Giltrap Group
To help ensure the NZ-VR programme gets to as many classrooms as possible, the Giltrap Group has provided two Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrids to the Sir Peter Blake Trust. This means two new educators can be on the road visiting schools every day delivering the NZ-VR programme to thousands of young Kiwis. The fact these vehicles are hybrid-electric powered also fits perfectly with the sustainability values and goals and the environmental messaging of all our programmes. 

W.W.F New Zealand
The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF has been working for around sixty years to protect nature.  WWF's mission is to build a future where people live in harmony with nature. They work to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment by conserving the world’s biodiversity, ensuring the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. WWF has been working in New Zealand since 1975.

Here at WWF, we know people are passionate about the environment but few have been able to see firsthand the depths of our ocean or our mountain peaks. People will fight to save what they know. WWF has supported NZVR because it is an incredible interactive introduction to our glorious country.  It is worth going on the journey together because together anything is possible. Visit:

Gulf Innovation Fund Together (G.I.F.T)
The Gulf Innovation Fund Together (G.I.F.T) is a $5m initiative set up in August 2016 by Foundation North, the community trust for Auckland and Northland. The initiative grew out of a Foundation North desire to try something different to tackle the alarming environmental decline in the Gulf’s health, in the context of escalating Auckland population pressures. G.I.F.T aims to ignite innovation to improve the mauri of Tikapa Moana/Te Moananui ā Toi (the Hauraki Gulf).

G.I.F.T’s grant of $275,000 enabled the Sir Peter Blake Trust, in conjunction with NZ Geographic and The Pew Charitable Trusts, to film and evaluate a series of 360 virtual reality marine experiences filmed in the Hauraki Gulf and elsewhere. Visit

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