Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Ambulance Update

Most clubs throughout New Zealand contributed to an ambulance for Taveuni Island (see earlier Posting).  This was due to have been delivered to Taveuni Island by now and an ambulance officer currently on the island providing training has just completed this course ... but without the ambulance.  This training was however an outstanding success with 24 staff from the hospital, Police, Fire and Prison attending.  This success has seen a request for paramedic training to be held in Taveuni, Savusavu and Labasa in early 2012.  The delivery of the ambulance from Suva (in transit) was due to very high seas and high winds and the decision not to risk the ambulance proved to be prudent as other vehicles on the sailing were damaged.  Delivery is expected on the next ship to Taveuni Island.

Submitted by: Geoff Amos, Rotary Club of Taveuni Island, District 9920

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

New Governor General is a Rotarian

The new Governor General of New Zealand, former defence forces chief Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae was sworn in today (31 August 2011, NZST).  He is a member of the Rotary Club of Wellington, District 9940 and takes over from Sir Anand Satyanand who is also a member of the Rotary Club of Wellington.  

Fairfield's Achievements

Fairfield Rotary’s reputation for friendly and efficient meetings established under Charter President Alf Ward has continued throughout the years.  Project involvement has been significant both locally and in the South Pacific, gradually extending internationally with Polio Plus and Student Exchanges, Rotary Friendship Exchange and now Shelter Boxes.

The club’s local activities have involved the hands-on construction of a children’s play court at Chartwell Park; then a combined project led by Fairfield enlisting the co-operation of the then six Hamilton clubs to provide and equip Hamilton’s first Life Support Ambulance.

In 2000, Fairfield Rotary’s Millennium Project

Rotary in evidence deep in jungle

Graeme Guilford near the school in the Papua New Guinea jungle

Rotary Club of Matamata, New Zealand Vice President Graeme Guilford experienced firsthand the scope of Rotary in the world.

Graeme, an avid tramper and outdoorsman, completed the famous Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea this last April.  Part-way through the trek, in the middle of the Papua New Guinea jungle, Graeme’s party came upon a small village.

The villagers were very keen to show the trampers their village school which consisted of a few buildings, pretty primitive by western standards, Graeme explained.  But it was when Graeme went inside that he found what was to become one of the highlights of the trip for him.

“Over the door between two of the classrooms was the Rotary wheel,” Graeme said.  When he questioned the people in the village further, he discovered that the school has been funded and built by Rotarians and the Rotary Foundation. “That was a huge buzz for me, making me proud to be a Rotarian. If anyone wants proof that the money they donate to Foundation is well spent, then they need look no further,” Graeme emphasised.

By David Hulme, District 9930 Newsletter Editor,

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Fiji water project success

SEVEN villages with over 180 homes - 500 people now have a reliable water supply thanks to a joint project involving the Rotary Club of Taveuni Island, who arrange a Matching Grants and the project and contributions from the Rotary Clubs of Whakatane West and Hamilton. 

The Tavenui water project was the brainchild of Fred and Doug Ball and saw 2000 meters of water pipe laid that took water from a mission station out to the villages where each had its own water tank installed so they could take control of their own water supply.  A set of rules has been developed so the integrity of the system can be maintained and villagers are learning ther importance of water conservation so that the village tank is not emptied through errors such as careless running of taps.

Adapted from the August District 9930 Newsletter

Friday, 26 August 2011

Wheels and Paddles and Shoe Boxes of Love

At the July District 9930 Changeover the keys to a new minibus were handed over to the Canterbury Rowing Association CEO, Rotarian John Wylie along with many members of the New Zealand Under 23 Rowing Squad, with many members from Christchurch.  The minibus was purchased thanks to significant donations from the Rotary Clubs of Cambridge, Tauranga and Hamilton plus smaller donations by the Rotary Club of Otorohanga amd Rotorua's Kawaha Point Primary School - a perfect example of leveraging asnd collaboration.

The minibus was filled with "Shoes Boxes of Love" received from the Cambridge and Taupo communities and quilts from Rotorua for distribution in Christchurch.

The minibus will be used to transport intermediate and high school rowers to training and events.  When it is not being used for thisd it will be on offer to Sport Canterbusry to transport children from the eastern Sector of Christchurch to recreational events.

Article from the August District 9970 Newsletter, and

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Community Clicks in Rotary Lego Event

Sonia Lindsay and son Sam, 5, of Pleasant Point,
deep in thought as they try to construct a dog from
Lego blocks provided by sponsor Mitre 10 Mega. PHOTO: GRAEME STILWELL.
Lego Olympics were literally a runaway success in Timaru over three days as nimble fingers clicked and snapped tiny blocks into shapes, models and racing cars. As well as a race against time to build models and structures and the usual static displays, the July 28, 29 and 30 event featured sections for all ages including a car race. The Lego 5000mm was a race between Lego cars, which gravity propelled in smashing fashion down a specially-built laned track. Each age group held section races and there was an overall prize for the car that travelled the furthest out into sponsor Mitre 10 Mega’s aisles. Those honours went to William Valentine of Gleniti School. The Lego Olympics have become an eagerly-awaited event in South Canterbury after first being held in 2008.

Pioneered then as a New Zealand first by the Rotary Club of Timaru South, the family fun event has captured the imagination of scores of young people pitting their skills against each other in building models to a pre-determined design and in anything-goes sections. Chief Judge Don George said the Rotary Club of Timaru South was excited about bringing the Lego contest back to South Canterbury year after year. “We had a brilliant turnout this year and this event is growing every year we hold it.” Convener Stuart Croft said the success of this year’s events meant the Lego Olympics will return in 2012.

“Rotary is about providing fun and learning experiences for our young people and judging by the laughter and delight, they certainly had plenty of both this year,” he said. He paid tribute to sponsors Mitre 10 Mega, Lego NZ and The Warehouse and to Ian Poulter, principal of Bluestone School, who each year provides the school hall as a venue for the event.

Imagine not remembering your loved ones - Take Time to Remember

The Rotary Club of Northcote & The Tea Lady of Birkenhead Point are holding a 'Cuppa for a Cause - Tea for Two' to raise funds for Alzheimers Auckland on 2 October 2011, 10.30am - 4pm at Senior Citizens House, 119 Queen Street, Northcote, Auckland.  $10 Adults and $5 seniors.  For reservations email

University education under way

The Rotary Club of Apia, Samoa in association with the Rotary Clubs of Pencarrow, Eastern Hutt and Wellington North have donated four scholarships valued at $3,000 each that will enable financially struggling students to enter the Foundation Year Programme at the National Univerity of Samoa.

Brrrrrr !!!!

As if the good people of Christchurch had not already enough.  Here are some pictures from the recent Antarctic blast.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Projecting in the Pacific - tell us about it!

Rotary clubs from the six New Zealand-based districts often have projects in the Pacific that make a massive difference to the lives of many ... but are you telling your stories and doing your project, sponsors and beneficiaries justice?  Remember that a well publicised project is in fact establishing your credibility for the next project, whenever that may be.

So send us a few lines or a full article or even just a "heads-up" that the project is happening and we can provide some guidance about promoting your project.  Don't forget the close up, action pictures to bring everything to life making it so very meaningful.  Do this by emailing especially if:
  • you are a SW Pacific Islands club with a project
  • you are a club supporting a Rotary project in the SW Pacific (with or without partnering a SW Pacific Island club)
  • are a district World Community Service Committee who have become aware of a project in the SW Pacific - let us know and we will take it from there
  • are a Rotary Foundation Committee who have become aware of a project in the SW Pacific - maybe you have been approached by a club for a Grant (DDF or Matching) - let us know and ask them as part of their receiving a grant to undertake good publicity of the project including an article for Rotary Down Under
  • there are many SW Pacific projects supported by clubs from around the world so these clubs, whether from Canada, USA, Europe and afar, can also send us publicity.
NB: the SW Pacific are the Pacific islands/nations of Rotary Zones 7B & 8 - go to page 4 of any Rotary Down Under magazine for a map (or page 4 of the on-line magazine at )

Monday, 1 August 2011

Rotary Programme Promotes International Goodwill

Mark Graham, Past President, Pukekohe Club, and Funeral Director has just returned from leading a  wonderful Rotary Foundation sponsored exchange to Texas, USA.

Mark led a group of five non-Rotarian adults from within Rotary District 9920 on a Group Study Exchange (GSE) to the Fort Worth – Dallas area of North Texas . The exchange took place between 9th April and 8th May. Making up the team were Sarah Miskell, a Chartered Accountant and Director of Campbell Tyson Cooper White, Pukekohe, Len Casey, a Police Constable from Ellerslie, Susan Wharerimu, a PE and Health Teacher from Tuakau College and Sarah Tuki, a Clinical Dietician with the Waitemata District Health Board.

En route to Texas, the team enjoyed