From Left: Buzz Bartlett (Bowater Toyota Salesman), Robert Booth (Garin College Boarding Manager), Tony Bowater (Bowater Toyota CEO), Junita Wopereis (Hostel Boarder), Dana Lobb (Hostel Head Girl), John Wopereis (Co-Captain of the hostel), Paul O'Regan (School Captain & Head of Sport).
Garin College is a very busy place. They are a local Richmond Catholic secondary school integrated into the New Zealand State School system, for day students and boarders. They offer a high a high quality education to locals and student boarders from the top of the south, as well as some international students. The hostel cares for 56 students, and as such has got specific needs when it comes to providing a well rounded education, with extra-curricular, out of school hours activities being a high priority. As Garin College's Boarding Manager Robert Booth said to us when they came to pick up their new school van, "A busy boarder is a happy boarder!"
A busy boarder is also a boarder that often needs to be moved from activity to activity in a safe and timely manner. Not to mention the logistics of moving a school of 434 students around to various local events and out of town exchanges.
Towards the end of last year a decision was made to begin upgrading some of the schools fleet of 3 Toyota Mini-vans. Bowater Toyota were more than happy to help Garin College in what ever way they could. Encouraging our youth to drive their dreams is not about getting kids into cars, it is about facilitating youth development wherever we can, and hopefully being a part of enabling the youth of our area to excell and succeed. .
Robert Booth, the hostel manager, covers a lot of kilometers each week.
Hostel Boarders need to be ferried here and there to various after school activites. This is an integral part of the Garin College Boarding experience, and as it states on their website "...our boarders do better.... and Garin boarders have an wonderful reputation for success in sports, arts and learning..."
Garin College is a Catholic school where students are encouraged to reach their potential in a wide range of areas. Academic opportunity and achievement are central to their students’ balanced development. Graduates become young men and women of faith, hope and integrity – people who have strong clear values, and a sense of their responsibility to make a difference.
Bowater Toyota, and the Bowater Motor Group in general, also share these same core values of responsibility and community spirit, and as such we felt such a sense of responsibility to help Garin College as much as we could in supporting them into a new school van. Their current fleet of Toyota vans have been doing over 40,000km a year, and doing a stirling job, however being 1999 / early 2000 models, safety and fuel efficiency technology have certainly moved on a long way since then.
The decision was made to begin the upgrade process so they naturally headed to Bowater Toyota to look at their options.
Buzz listened and found some options that would suit both their budgets and their specific requirements. The move to a newer, more fuel efficient van made economic sense given the age of their existing fleet of vans.
A used mini-van was carefully sourced through our extensive and trusted networks in Japan, and once it had arrived it was then put through our comprehensive refurbishment programme, giving the prospective new owners the comfort and the knowledge they were purchasing a top quality used motor vehicle.
One of the benefits for Garin College with this particular van is that it's all wheel drive (AWD) - so that in inclement weather conditions the van will be more surefooted, and the more comfortable and robust seating will give the students a much nicer and safer ride. Fuel efficiency has also improved drastically over the past 10 years, since 1997 Japanese cars have improved a massive 57% increase in fuel efficiency across the board. For Garin College a cheaper and safer van to run ticked all of the right boxes.
All in all a very happy outcome for all.
Bowater Toyota are very pleased to be able to help local community focused groups such as Garin College find specific vehicles and enable them to be able to upgrade their vehicles in the easiest way possible. We wish them happy and safe travels as they move their students and boarders around the region in this van for many years to come.