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Bike Month marked with 800-helmet giveaway to support safe cycling

28 February 2018

Hundreds of New Zealanders are now the proud owners of top-quality cycle helmets as the result of an AMI Insurance initiative during Bike Month in February.

The insurance company gave away 800 bright yellow AMI cycle helmets with the intention of persuading more New Zealanders to safely take up cycling and enjoy all the associated health and travel benefits.

AMI worked with community and cycling groups in areas as diverse as Mount Roskill and Māngere East in Auckland and Ōpōtiki in the eastern Bay of Plenty, to ensure people in need received the helmets.

AMI Community Engagement Manager Eve Whitwell says Bike Month provided a wonderful opportunity to work with groups that are making a real difference in our communities.

“AMI believes that connected communities are safer and stronger. That’s why we partner with groups such as these, providing them with support and resources to make New Zealand a safer and better place to live.”

In Māngere East, AMI worked with Teau Aiturau, aka Mr T, and his Thrive to Survive Trust to distribute helmets to South Aucklanders who wanted to start cycling or who were using substandard helmets or weren’t wearing helmets at all.

“There’s a lot of people in places like Māngere who want to cycle but they just can’t afford the cost of a bike or a helmet,” says Mr T. “There’s a need, a big need, and to get these top-quality helmets from AMI is a big boost.”

Mr T and his trust have reconditioned and distributed more than 500 bikes since he began cycling as part of a personal health drive to reduce his weight from 250kg to 150kg.

In Ōpōtiki cycling advocate Steve Hodge set up a Bike Kitchen in association with Healthy Families East Cape to encourage safe cycling in the eastern Bay of Plenty and that initiative has been warmly received by the local community.

Healthy Families Manager Candice Porter is delighted with the positive response to the initiative. “More than 40 bikes were repaired and are safely back on the road after our first event and that was just the start.”

Whakatōhea Social and Health Services is another partner and manager Ian Linton is enthusiastic about the initiative. “Our children are the future and through this kaupapa we have an opportunity to lead and influence change to help our children become more connected and enjoy stronger relationships with our community.”

The refugee community is at the centre of the work being done by the Roskill Bike Kitchen, which operates out of the Roskill Youth Zone, repairing and reconditioning bikes in association with inmates from Paremoremo Prison.

Roskill Bike Kitchen spokesperson Richard Barter says people attending the most recent Bike Fix day really appreciated the helmets. “It’s so good to be able to provide a good quality, cool-looking and brightly-coloured helmet with each bike we give away. At one point during the Bike Fix, there were more than a dozen recipients of bikes riding around the courtyard wearing their new helmets.”

AMI has also been distributing cycle helmets through its branch network and, all up, has given away 800 of its bright yellow helmets during Bike Month.

As well as the various groups involved, AMI would like to acknowledge the assistance of Auckland Transport in this initiative.

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