Thursday, 15 December 2011

As one Rotarian leaves Government House, another arrives

Sir Anand Satyanand
While New Zealand’s Governor-General changed in August 2011, one thing remained a constant—both were members of the same Rotary club.

The Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand completed his five year term as Governor-General of New Zealand on 23 August 2011 and on 31 August his successor, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, was sworn in as New Zealand’s 20th Governor-General.   Sir Jerry is a former Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force and Chief of the New Zealand Army.

Both had been long-time members of the District 9940 Rotary Club of Wellington, and indeed Sir Anand was President Elect when he was appointed as Governor-General in 2006.  Sir Anand came to the role of Governor-General, having previously served as a lawyer, judge and ombudsman.
In his farewell speech at a state luncheon at Parliament, Sir Anand spoke of the many of highlights he and Lady Susan shared while representing the Queen of New Zealand.

“Our most abiding memories will not be of places, but of the people of New Zealand, and their positive spirit and determination. In schools, businesses, marae, awards ceremonies and festivals, we have met, talked to and shared experiences with many New Zealanders and many communities, and have enjoyed time and again the many qualities that make our country and its people special – good-hearted concern for others, practical can-do attitudes, very often accompanied by good humour.

“The collective strength of New Zealanders has been amply illustrated in the aftermath of the disasters and tragedies in Canterbury and Christchurch and at Pike River, and the loss of several lives in the New Zealand Defence Force. “

Sir Anand said serving as Governor-General gave him the opportunity to recognise the contributions that New Zealanders make.

“Investing the first Victoria Cross for New Zealand and Anzac of the Year are examples of military contributions, and over the past five years we have been privileged to celebrate more than 2000 investitures to say "thank you" to people who have given outstanding service to the nation or to humanity– whether through voluntary community work or for professional and business contributions.”

Sir Anand said he and Lady Susan had also had the privilege, at the request of the Government, to represent New Zealanders’ interests abroad.

“In this capacity we have visited Singapore, Timor Lesté, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, and further afield Mongolia, India and Canada.  In each of those three countries we made the first visit by a New Zealand Governor-General.  We also had the wonderful opportunity of supporting New Zealand competitors in the Olympics at Beijing and the Commonwealth Games at New Delhi.”
Sir Anand said visiting India was special for many reasons.  “To return as representative of the Head of State to the land which my grandparents had left more than a century ago was personally meaningful,  but I think we can all reflect on the fact that New Zealand is a nation where anyone, regardless of their background, can achieve if they are prepared to work and contribute. “

Sir Anand said the closure of Government House in Wellington in late 2008 provided an unparalleled opportunity to connect with people in many regions.
“We held investiture ceremonies in a variety of places from Christchurch and Dunedin through to a notable event in the public bar of the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell.  At the end of the 30 month Conservation Project, we believe that the refurbished and strengthened House is a national treasure, and that everyone involved in the project can take pride in a job well done.”

In addition to thanking the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and the staff at Government House, Sir Anand paid special tribute to Lady Susan’s contribution.

“When we decided to take on this role, we agreed we would do it together; wherever possible we have done just that.  Susan has however, been much more than a congenial supporter. I have constantly relied on her advice and feedback.  She has also actively extended the Governor-General’s role by promoting three themes: children, initiatives to enhance the environment, and volunteering. “
Sir Jerry Mateparae

-          By Antony Paltridge, Public Affairs Manager, Government House

Friday, 9 December 2011

Ducks ... on your marks, get set ... GO!

Willowridge Wanakafest is an annual 3 day cultural festival, set in the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka New Zealand.

The festival attracts a large number of visitors as well as bringing together the local townsfolk. One of the major activities at the festival is the "Rotary Duck Race" which was first launched in 2010; This year the Rotary Club of Wanaka expanded the event to include sections for both individual and corporate purchase. The duck race is the first event early in the morning on day 3 of the festival programme. This year, a large crowd of excited children and parents gathered to watch the race in perfect weather.

The spectators were lined up along Bullock Creek, a fast flowing stream which runs through the town. The finish line was set where the stream flows into Lake Wanaka and where the local Wanaka Rotary Club members were stationed to judge the winners and collect the ducks.

A major effort by club members to sell the ducks in the 2 weeks prior to the festival resulted in the club meeting its target of raising over $8,000. After 10% of the proceeds were returned to the Wanakafest organisation to help towards their 2012 programme, the balance was set aside for Rotary community projects.

The annual Wanaka Rotary Club "Duck Race" not only serves to raise the profile of the Wanaka Rotary Club in the local community, but has also established itself as a successful and valuable fund raising activity for years to come.
 (extracted from the December 2011 District 9980 Newsletter)Contributed by Kerry Suckling

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Kaikohe Rotary Runs Traverse

The newly opened Pou Herenga Tai – Twin Coast Cycle Trail was the route for another first for the Rotary Club of Kaikohe. They organised a fun run and walk for the people of Northland in late October. A first because this trail, one of the first commissioned under Prime Minister John Key’s nationwide initiative has only recently opened the first stage of a beautiful, cultural and historic journey from the Bay of Islands on the east coast to the Hokianga harbour on the west. It is based on the original rail route from Opua to Okaihau and also follows many of the tracks used by the Maori in their journeys from coast to coast.
A small and enthusiastic crowd set off to run or walk 13.4 kilometres from Okaihau to Kaikohe and a second group tackled a shorter course of 8.4 kilometres starting part way along the route. Named the Okaihau Kaikohe Traverse, this was a real community effort involving the business associations of Okaihau and Kaikohe with spot prizes donated by generous businesses and individuals of the area. The contestants passed along the scenic trail which gradually climbs to a peak near Kaikohe before passing through the original rail tunnel and descending to the township. A short passage along State Highway 12 led to the finish at Mid North Motor Inn where runners and walkers could relax with a cup of coffee and barbeque fare while waiting for the prizegiving at midday.
There' off - start of the Traverse
Far North District Council, the developers of the Cycle Trail were very supportive and Cycle Trail Coordinator and Rotarian Adrienne Tari provided much appreciated assistance and guidance. Club President Frank Duxfield plans to make this an annual event that can grow as the Cycle Trail grows to its Coast to Coast completion. That is, grow in numbers and also in the distances that can be run or walked. The next addition would be a Half Marathon as soon as the Trail is long enough. The objectives set by Kaikohe Rotary were to create a healthy fun event at a low cost that promoted the Cycle Trail and the region. The Club feels quietly satisfied with this first event but is already planning to do it even better next year. More details can be found at .

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Rotary Down Under magazine for December 2011

Rotary helps restore emergency services

An international fundraising drive has replenished emergency resources that were exhausted after the Canterbury earthquakes.
Rotary presented Christchurch’s St John Ambulance with $70,000 on Saturday with contributions coming from Rotary clubs around the country and the world.
Lindsay Crossen, Rotary co-ordinator for the fundraising project, said the money would help St John replace medical equipment, personnel equipment, mass casualty incident equipment, medical kits, welfare boxes (to support staff in emergency) and first response packs.
‘‘Christchurch and Canterbury requires the full mobilisation of St John whenever disaster strikes. During the earthquakes, St John consumed a lot of their basic emergency resources to the extent that their capability to respond to another similar event to 22 February in the near future will be a challenge.
‘‘After being used in an emergency, many resources are damaged or consumed to the extent that they are no longer reliable or usable for first response emergency.’’
Rotary district governor David Drake said it celebrated the links between Christchurch and Japan and their recent shared earthquake experiences with President-elect of Rotary International, Sakuji Tanaka from Japan, presenting the cheque.
‘‘Mr Tanaka wanted to come to Christchurch to personally present the cheque.
‘‘The links between New Zealand and Japan have been strengthened this year and Mr Tanaka’s visit is recognition of that.’’
Also Mr Drake explained that The Rotary Foundation and Rotary District 3780 in Quezon City, Philippines, were the international connections who provided a substantial part of project funding.
South Island St John general manager David Thomas thanked Rotary for its dedication and fundraising.
‘‘St John is a charity that relies on the generosity of the community, and community organisations like Rotary, to help us with our caring activities. The costs and impact of the earthquakes have been great on us, so the support of the members of Rotary is vital. They have dug deep to support us and have also reached out internationally.’’
Tanaka’s visit to St John was an honour, he said.
‘‘The people of Japan know only too well the trauma and destruction of earthquakes. St John is deeply honoured to have Mr Tanaka visiting us in Christchurch.’’

Fork 'n Spoon Complete the $10 Queenstown Challenge

There were three Rotary teams in the Cure Kids $10 Queenstown Challenge just completed.

One of these was Grant and Sarah Smith from the Rotary Club of Albany in District 9910 (they had just returned also from the Future Leaders Seminar in Brisbane and the Rotary Institute so well done on both counts).  Here is their email:

Hi everyone, Well we made it! 

  What an awesome adventure. Three days to get from Queenstown to Auckland in fancy dress with just 10 dollars.

 Personally for us it was a real challenge which took us way outside our comfort zone. Hitching for a ride can be very demoralising as you watch the other competitors go by and wave, and you stand there for more than 30 minutes waiting for a ride. And then it starts to rain!  And you are totally reliant on other people for their generosity and support.

 We got on Breakfast TV on TV1 on Friday morning, and raised another $1000 with a sausage sizzle in Wellington CBD in just 1 hour.

 Lots of physical and mental challenges were also included, as we had a number of challenges to complete on the way. There were gum boot wearing races in Taihape with eggs in your gum boots, Luging challenge in Queenstown having to carry water in a glass as you go up in the chair lift and down on the luge without spilling any water. We had to defrost a frozen T shirt in Hunterville and then wear it, and then carry out communication challenges while blindfolded.

Thank you so much for your support, which will make a real difference to the children of New Zealand. Pictures of the event attached, and there is more info and pictures at We personally raised more than $17,000, (second largest amount overall) and the whole $10 Challenge event raised more than $153,000 for Cure Kids. For Sarah and I this was an amazing achievement, and to meet so many incredible people along the journey was very rewarding. Highlight for us was getting a ride in a big rig Volvo truck of NZ Couriers out of Taihape. We met Dave and told him all about Cure Kids, and he then went on to pick up 2 more teams on the way to Taupo, and has now raised a whole lot of money for the charity and wants to do the event next year.

The final challenge was to play as a Samba band together as we crossed the finish line which was awesome. Bit rough to start but by then we were sounding good.
There were taste and smell challenges in a winery just outside Queenstown, a 10km run through a mountain bike park in Rotorua, and then finally we had to move 1 cubic meter of mulch by hand in onion sacks in Bombay  to get our final points.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Future Leaders Seminar a First

Supported by RI Director Stuart Heal possibly the first such seminar held in association with a Rotary Insititute was held recently on the Thursday immediately prior to the start of the Brisbane Institute.  163 (including 16 from NZ districts) registrants from 23 of the 28 districts in the region took part in a vibrant and very productive day.  Some participants had not been in Rotary long with some Rotaractors plus new Rotary members in their early 20's. Organiser PDG Cathy Roth said that "overwhelmingly participants showed and said they were ready and willing to take an active role in Rotary and their community."

The day long seminar covered a wide range of topics including the future of good leadership and leadership opportunities, leadership styles, Rotary Foundation, public relations, membership, social media and much more.  Included were breakout sessions on a variety of topics from which participants got networking opportunities, ideas and suggestions to take away with them for later use.  Topics included membership, communications, marketing and PR, RI beyond the district, service projects, Rotary Foundation and more.  NZ participation in the event organisation, presentations and facilitating the breakouts was high.

Participant feedback will assist the Future Leaders Seminars already agreed for the Rotary Institutes next to be held (this time separately) in Invercargill and Adelaide in 2012.  For the Invercargill seminar, Cathy and PDG Beryl Robinson (who was also on the organising committee for Brisbane Future Leaders) will organise.  Comments included:

A brilliant concept. I hope it continues
Networking opportunities - brilliant
Could be two days
Fewer breakouts of longer duration in smaller groups - otherwise excellent!

Attending the Seminar enabled the participants to also attend the Institute itself as observers and most did so.  On the Thursday night there was a combined clubs Rotary meeting (about 400 attending), on the Friday night was a 'reunion dinner' where the Seminar participants went out for dinner on Brisbane River aboard the Lady Brisbane and then Friday to Sunday at the Institute itself.

Some of the NZ Future Leaders contingent
at the Saturday night Gala 'BrisVegas' Dinner
 In his closing address to the Institute, RI Director Stuart said to the Future Leaders, "To the Future Leaders, you can no longer call yourselves 'future leaders' - you are the leaders in Rotary ... go for it!"

Rotary Sunrise Rockers Rock Brisbane Institute and Jonathon added the Magic

Brisbane Insitute was a Rotary Institute for the districts of New Zealand and Australia that happened to be in Brisbane ... Where Else!

As the New Zealand representative on the Institute Committee, PDG Beryl Robinson said, "There was a determination by the committee to make sure both sides of the"Ditch" were involved and seen to be involved and that certainly happened!"

The band has it all - music and a challenge!
In front of almost 700 Rotarians, partners and Rotaractors, the Sunrise Rockers from the Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise added not just a unique New Zealand element to Institute but also set the tone at the beginning of each business (plenary) session ... we were there to have fun, be informed and inspired and that was well delivered.

The house was brought down when spontaneously the New Zealand contingent, both Rotarians and partners, got up on the stage for a rendition of Pokarekare Ana

Some of the NZ contingent

Also from New Zealand was Assistant Governor Jonathon Usher (of the Rotary Club of Dunedin, 9980) who well represented the theme of the Institute "The Magic of Rotary" with his many magic tricks ... just amazing.  Jonathon was also one of the Future Leaders Seminar participants.
"Drinking this prevents streaking"


A celebration dinner and awards ceremony was recently held at Papakura RSA to celebrate 10 years of projects in Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga.
Paul Harris Fellowships were awarded to John Ross and Peter McInnes by the Club for works in Tonga, Ross Chapman, Warren Oliver and Reef Shipping for their assistance. A further Paul Harris Award by Rotary District 9920 and a Citation from Rotary International were presented to John by Bill Boyd, the Chairman of Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, for Service to Rotary through work in Tonga.
Papakura Rotary Club projects began in Vava’u, the northern group of the islands of Tonga in 2002 when a house was built for a widow with 5 children, climbing frames for 3 schools erected, school supplies and medical equipment provided. 
The following 3 years  4 houses were built and spouting and downpipes on about 60 houses in Utungake
In 2005 a substantial grant was received from NZWCS Ltd, being Rotary Centennial year. This was used to provide a piped water supply to the Village of Utungake. This was a 4 week project carried out by 2 groups of Rotarians assisted by approx 30 Villagers. 4.5km of 63mm pipe was laid, a deepwell electric pump and 2 tanks were installed.
The following year the pipeline and water supply was extended another 2 km to Talihau, a village of about 40 houses, this time with 9 Rotarians from Papakura and 20 locals over 12 days. School desks & books and toothpaste and toothbrushes were also supplied.
In 2007 water supply was completed in Talihau and another pipeline to the nearby village of Utulei laid to a new tank. 700m of spouting and downpipes was erected on 30 houses and existing pumps refurbished. A team of 11 worked on this for 12 days with local assistance.
2008 saw the reticulation of Utelei Village from the supplied already established. This was greeted with huge enthusiasm, and emotion, and ended with a great feast as usual, 5 little pigs were cooked on spits, taro, raw fish, more than we could eat but enjoyed by the locals.
In 2009 an electric pump was put in to replace a broken down diesel in a village on the northern side of Vava’u and a survey of leaks in their existing reticulation carried out. This is a cause of a lot of wastage and cost. A new roof was also placed on the roof of the Library in Neiafu.
In 2010 the first solar powered pumps were installed. These generally provide a base load water supply which can be supplemented by power or diesel pumps, in most cases rainwater harvesting in tanks is the first choice. With 6 solar panels enough power is generated on a sunny day to pump 3000litres/hr from 30m deep to a reservoir. With water tanks for roof water this will be enough for about 70 families. The big plus is that running costs are nil compared with electricity at $1/unit.
Following very dry weather and a late monsoon the pump installed at Utungake in 2005 was unable to supply the combined villages of Utungake and Talihau. In 2011 the Talihau village elders disconnected the pipeline and asked the Club to install a soakage system, which has been used in other low lying villages, to provide a piped supply using the reticulation previously installed.
This was carried out using a shallow well solar powered pump, however, the principal water supply is from rainwater harvesting from roof runoff. To this end a grant from TRF enabled us to install 11 x 10000litre plastic tanks which were sourced from Nuku’alofa. The locals financed and constructed concrete bases to which the tanks were strapped so that they did not blow away when empty. Computers and desks were also supplied to the school.
The past 10 years of projects in Tonga have provided Club members with great fellowship, a sense of a job well done, a glimpse into village life on a Pacific Island and an enjoyable although hectic time.
Our thanks to The Rotary Foundation, District 9920, Harold Thomas Trust, NZ High Commission, Lions Club and others for funding. Roofing materials were supplied by Franklin Long Run Roofing, Shipping of a container every year by Reef Shipping Ltd and accommodation by Ross Chapman. These were recognized by Awards at the recent celebration dinner.
Statistics for the projects: Rotarians 1012 man/days, local villagers 3500 man/days, funding $442,000, donation in kind $150,000. Total in excess of $611,000.