Mount Maunganui's Main Beach wouldn't be the recommended home for most new vehicles, with salt spray lashing, sand blasting the chassis and uneven terrain full of hazards.
Farmer Autovillage boss Mike Farmer can't think of a better place for a brand new Nissan Navara DX ute, however. The Tauranga car dealers have continued their decade-long association with the Mount Lifeguard Service by joining with Mackay Strathnaver Trust to provide the club with a new vehicle, which will be used for vital lifeguarding activities.
"The Navaras have been around for a while but the key with them is they've absolutely bulletproof, which is exactly what you need in this kind of environment," Farmer said, as he handed the keys to club members over the weekend.
"We've got four or five core groups in the community we support and the Mount Lifeguard Service is one of the most iconic surf clubs in the country. We're proud to be associated with them because of the service they provide to the wider community and the job they do."
The ute is a vital emergency vehicle for the club, helping set up flagged patrolling areas, assisting in rescues and towing rescue craft and trailers.
Last season, club members rescued 25 people from dangerous surf conditions, providing first aid and undertaking nearly 2000 preventative actions in a large patrolling area, which includes Mauao, Pilot Bay and down the coast past Tay St.
"It's a big area and we need to be as mobile as possible," club chairman Paul Treanor explained. "This new vehicle is crucial to club members performing their core roles of preventing drowning and making our beaches safer. We've had a long relationship with Farmer Autovillage and Mackay Strathnaver Trust and we're extremely grateful they recognise the work we do down here."
Caption: Caption: Mount Lifeguard Service chairman Paul Treanor (left), Mike Farmer and lifeguards Matthew Kriel and Alex Sefton with the club's new Nissan. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Journalism