Meridian Energy and MiniMonos.com Partner for Global Giveaway

New Zealand– September 2, 2010 - The virtual world of MiniMonos.com is about to get more exciting for thousands of monkeys in New Zealand and around the globe, with free Gold memberships up for grabs!

MiniMonos.com and Meridian Energy are giving away 10,000 six-month Gold memberships to MiniMonos.com, a virtual world where children create a free monkey avatar, decorate virtual treehouses, make friends, and play games. Gold members get access to special perks for their monkeys like funky hairstyles and clothes.

Since its launch in 2009, MiniMonos (‘little monkeys’ in Spanish) has signed up more than 30,000 members worldwide.

MiniMonos Chief Executive Melissa Clark-Reynolds says children can safely explore the MiniMonos virtual word while connecting with the real world. Through a partnership with Buy1Give1, which facilitates charity donations, and the Bird India charity, every Gold membership helps provide clean water for children in India; the Meridian giveaway, for example, will provide 20 years of clean water for a child in need.

“Kids love MiniMonos. Looking after the environment isn’t taught on MiniMonos; it’s normalised. Kids quickly realise if they don’t clean the lagoon the fish don’t come back, and if they don’t do their recycling their treehouses get messy.”

Melissa says partnering with Meridian was an easy choice.“It’s a natural alignment between two organisations that are committed to renewable development and the environment.”

Meridian’s Brand Manager, Tracey Kai, says Meridian is New Zealand’s leading renewable energy supplier and MiniMonos’ focus on normalising a sustainable world fits in perfectly with Meridian’s mission to become a worldwide leader in renewable energy production. MiniMonos has no advertising and doesn’t push merchandise on kids.“Giving away memberships to MiniMonos is something we feel really good about,” Tracey says.

Of the 10,000 gold memberships, 5,000 have been set aside for Meridian customers, and 5,000 are available on a first-in, first-served basis.

To redeem a Gold membership visit MiniMonos.com to create a free monkey avatar. Once you’re logged in, click to upgrade to Gold membership and use the redemption code MERIDIAN2010. Free Gold memberships are limited to two per household.

For more information contact:

Kaila Colbin, MiniMonos Chief Marketing Officer, 027 466 2530

Melissa Clark-Reynolds, MiniMonos Chief Executive, 021 333 394

Claire Shaw, Meridian External Communications Manager, phone 021 370677.

-End-

ABOUT MERIDIAN ENERGY

Meridian is New Zealand’s largest electricity generator and currently owns and operates nine hydro stations and three wind farms within New Zealand, and one wind farm in Australia.

Internationally, Meridian has operations in Sydney Australia and San Francisco California. Meridian recently announced the establishment of a joint venture with Australian energy company AGL to build what will be the southern hemisphere's biggest wind farm in southwest Victoria The 420MW Macarthur wind farm is due for completion in 2013.

Meridian retails electricity to around 188,000 customers throughout New Zealand, which includes households, farms and businesses. It also provides electricity to New Zealand’s single largest electricity user, the Rio Tinto Alcan New Zealand Limited aluminium smelter in Bluff.

Meridian invests strongly in renewable energy development both in New Zealand and offshore and has recently commenced construction on the Te Uku wind farm, in Hamilton, New Zealand.

ABOUT MINIMONOS

MiniMonos.com is a virtual world for children: a place of fun, beauty, discovery, generosity, sustainability and friendship.

MiniMonos was created by Melissa Clark-Reynolds so that children could have a place of their own, a place that allows them to explore and grow without constant pressure to buy stuff. It’s a place that embodies core values like sustainability and generosity, without turning those values into a boring lecture.

Children's in-world treehouses require care and nourishment in order to flourish -- just like our planet. The games they play are fun games -- with a connection to our core values. MiniMonos’ aim is to continually answer the question: What would a virtual world for children look like if sustainability were a given and we could just focus on entertainment?


Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.