Monday, 30 April 2012

District 9920's future leaders know how to party!

Cathy Gourbault-Lawrence of the Rotary Club of Papeete-Tahiti, French Polynesia, with District 9920 Governor for 2014-2015, Iain Wakefield, at the Mardi Gras evening of the District 9920 Conference at Waitangi.  Cathy commended that this was nearly as much fun as when she dressed Iain up in a Tutu at the district conference in Napier a few years back.

Goes to prove that all Rotarians can have a lot of fun!

Rotary Club of Taravao Tahiti Iti in French Polynesia

La Presqu’île is the peninsula (Iti) of Tahiti in French Polynesia.  La  Presqu’îlienne is the name given to the five kilometre race which was organized in the streets of Taravao by the Rotary Club of Taravao Tahiti Iti,  the  Tamarii Punaruu Sports Association and the  French Polynesian Athletic Federation.
The purpose was to make people aware of obesity and diabetes issues. The Association of the Diabetics and Obese of French Polynesia ran a prevention and screening stand, led by Doctor Jean-Louis Boissin from the Rotary Club of Papeete Tahiti. 

The outcomes included fundraising 130000 FCP to support the prevention actions plus the message was successfully disseminated.  120 people participated to the race by running or walking, or doing both, and 150 people were screened.  The première event was a great success, so will be repeated next year.
At the prize giving following the end of the race, the winner received a return air ticket to Tubuai (Australes) to participate in the sporting event Raid Litchi next November. 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Polio achievement inspire and are recognised at the District 9940 Conference

India has had no new cases of polio since January last year, and that's largely thanks to the efforts of organisations like Rotary.

Dr Mathew Varghese’s was guest speaker at the District 9940 conference in Wanganui and was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow recognition by District 9940.  District Governor Bob Smith said it had been wonderful to have Dr Varghese come to Wanganui to speak about his work. "Rotary has taken a keen interest in the prevention of polio, so it has been great to hear about it from someone on the front line."

Dr Mathew Varghese is currently Head of the Department of Orthopaedics at St Stephen’s Hospital, Delhi, India specialising in trauma care with particular emphasis on reconstructive surgery for trauma, poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy and paediatric problems. He spoke about his work with sufferers of polio and the $6000 presented to him at the conference by the clubs of the district to help with new equipment for the hospital and to continue his work with polio. He reminded the conference very much of the standing of Professor Swee Tan in our District for his work with children with strawberry birth marks. [Swee Tan is also a researcher with Cure Kids].

Polio, once common in New Zealand, is a water-borne virus that affects the spine of the sufferer and can cause paralysis and deformities.  Starting in 1985, Rotary groups around the world began a fundraising drive to eliminate polio completely, and to date they have raised about $1 billion for vaccination programmes. Other charitable organisations have also donated considerable sums of money for polio prevention.

Dr Varghese said when he began working at St Stephen's Hospital in 1990, in Delhi alone there were about 3000 new cases of polio each year. Now polio has virtually been eliminated from India, thanks to a huge vaccination drive. Dr Varghese campaigned in the 1980s to have a nationwide vaccination programme introduced and, although it is a huge logistical task vaccinating every child in India under the age of five, his dream has now come true.

"I never thought to see it happen in my lifetime, but it is a reality. By any standards, it is a remarkable achievement," he said.

The only cases of polio Dr Varghese sees now are historical ones, where the sufferer has on-going problems from being infected years ago.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Racing this time - lots of fun for schools

The Eastern Suburbs and New Zealand Finals of the Soapbox Derby, run by the Rotary Club of Auckland East,  culminated on the second day with the winner qualifying for a trip to Akron, Ohio, USA, for the world championships.

Opening parade complete with Brass band.

This Rotary driven project is to encourage primary schools to enter a team to compete in a soap box derby.   Each team comprises of a number of children who build the race car, thus learning how to use basic tools, how to read plans and assembly instructions, how to work as a team and how to solve problems.

The course from the starting gate

The local and subsequent New Zealand Final events were well supported with over 20 schools involved within the Rotary districts. Participating schools included those new to the event and the competitive nature of the racing ensured a healthy rivalry, with approximately 50 races run over two days. A couple of sponsorship adult carts allowed some special guest runs and drivers included: a Rotary president, a local councillor, a GSE participant from the Yukon and a uniformed police constable. Virtually all event support staff, (approximately 50) were in Rotary shirts caps for the two days.

Pictures courtesy of the Rotary Club of Auckland East - go to their Facebook page for more: 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

SMILE - multi-district volunteer dental project makes a brilliant difference

Rotary Districts 9910, 9920 and 9940 Volunteer Dental Project in Taveuni Island Fiji (18 March to 1 April 2012)
-          By Dr Johnston Luen, Team Leader

The New Zealand team of four dentists consisted of Drs Johnston Luen (General Practitioner, member of Pukekohe Rotary Club), Niel Ewart (Retired Periodontist, Remuera Rotary Club of Remuera Past President), Gary Lawrence (General Practitioner, AG, Kapiti Rotary Club) and Brian Peak (Retired General Practitioner, Milford Rotary Club Past President).

The Taveuni team members consisted of Geoffrey Amos (Taveuni Island Rotary Club Past President and Special Project Officer), Eke (Hygienist), Joey ,Vani, Arni, Petero and Mateo.

We were based at Matei on the northern aspect of the Island.  We worked in nine villages located throughout the island, with Lavena and Vuna being the most remote on the north east and south east coast. It took over 90 minutes of travelling by road to reach these two villages. Three vehicles transported the people, furniture, dental equipment, petrol- fueled electricity generators and air compressors.

Clinical areas were set up in school or community halls.  The schools and the people were notified in advance of the day and time that the Rotary dental teams would provide free treatment. Sometimes people were already waiting at the location when we arrived.

From experience we adopted “production line” delivery of treatment. Patients were examined then directed to the appropriate dentist for the various treatments required. Johnston did the initial examinations, extractions, as well as cleaned teeth. Brian cut the cavities with Mateo assisting with the suction. Gary placed the fillings with the help of the local hygienist, Eke. Niel cleaned teeth with an ultrasonic scaler as well as doing extractions.  Although, each dentist had a specific task, we each overlapped each others’ tasks in order to provide a more productive outcome. Geoffrey organized and distributed the dental packs to each patient following their treatment.  Each pack consisted of free toothbrush, toothpaste, sugar free gum, and educational material.  He also explained to the head teachers and elders of the community the importance of dental health education, diet, and home care.  Joey, Vani and Arni were the support staff, who cleaned and sterilized the instruments, charting treatment, providing lunch and tea breaks, as well as coming to our assistance when we had nervous patients.  

From a clinical aspect, we noted that the further the village was away from shops, the people had less decay, but still had gum disease and heavy deposits of tartar around the teeth.  Qeleni and Naselsele had the highest number of decayed and abscessing teeth in the children.  The likely causative factor would be the easier access to high sugar foods including sweets, soft drinks and biscuits.

Dental education is the key to the reduction in dental decay and healthier gums.  We witnessed the continuing lunch time tooth brushing program at each school.  

We are sincerely grateful to Colgate Fiji who supplied free toothbrushes and toothpaste and Mr Rabbit pamphlets to every patient.  Wrigley sugar free dental gum was also handed out.  Extra toothbrushes from Luxident, plus Sensodyne and Maclean toothpaste from GlaxoSmithKleine were also available.

The Global recession has affected this project on several fronts.  Air Pacific cut back significantly the amount of free excess luggage.  The domestic airline Pacific Sun was unable to assist with excess luggage, hence we had to purchase another ticket to ensure all our luggage flew with us on the same flight to Taveuni Island. 

Each night, we stayed at the same house, “Ucinvatu” which was provided free of charge by Phil and Diane Gray of Kawau Island.

Finally we have to acknowledge a lot of people, organizations and companies who have given us goods, grants and services which enabled us to provide free dental treatment.

We wish to thank the following:

The Harold Thomas Trust, the Margaret M Blackwell Trust, Rotary Clubs of Taveuni Island, Pukekohe, Remuera, Kapiti and Milford,  the NZ Dental Association, ADA Wickham Trust, Phil and Diane Gray and Air Pacific.

Dental Companies: CG, Ivoclar Vivadent, Healthcare Essentials, Crown Dental, Oraltec, Colgate Fiji, Wrigley Chewing Gum, Luxident and Shalfoon Henry Schein.

The professional camaraderie, along with the wide range of conversational topics and clinical tales were enjoyed by the team.

This is a very worthwhile Rotary Project and we look forward to working together again in two years’ time.

ROTA 1960 celebrates the early days of GSE

With several districts currently hosting Group Study Exchange teams this story is very timely in looking at some of the history of the programme from which GSE sprang.


The Rotary Overseas Travel Award (ROTA) 1960 New Zealand Team’s five surviving members gathered in Auckland, New Zealand on 19-21 November 2010 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their group study tour to India and Ceylon by seven young New Zealanders and their Rotarian leader.  ROTA was the forerunner to Group Study Exchange (GSE). 

Back: ROTA 1960 Team Members Pat Baker (Papakura), Bill Tawhai (Opotiki), Rod Littlejohn (Huntly),  Douglas Day (Putaruru), Joe Runga (Kaitaia) and  David Botting (Auckland)
    Front: John Broun (Newmarket) and 1960 ROTA Team Leader Les Colgan (New Lynn) 
(Their sponsor Rotary clubs are in brackets)

Pictured are ROTA 1960 New Zealand Team Members  
wearing Ghandi caps presented in India 50 years ago and
50th Anniversary medals prepared for the occasion by John Broun
 (from left) Pat Baker, Douglas Day, John Broun, Wiremu Tawhai (since deceased) and David Botting, with District 9920 GSE Chair Don Leith and
Dick Vernon (son of the late ROTA ‘founder’ PDG Dr Ralph Vernon)

Then Past President (who subsequently became District Governor) Les Colgan of the Rotary Club of New Lynn, Auckland, led a ground breaking study tour of India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) for almost five months from 22 November 1960 to 1 April 1961, which included three weeks each way by ship.

Their 50th anniversary weekend began on Friday night with an authentic Indian meal for team members and partners. On Saturday there was a full day of activities including a New Zealand lunch with a 50th anniversary cake for a wider group of 18 people, including family of deceased team members.

Sadly, Team Leader Les Colgan was called to higher service (on 2 July 1987), as were Rod Littlejohn (1 September 1981), Joe Runga (9 February 2005), and just two weeks after these celebrations, Wiremu (Bill) Tawhai passed away (2 December 2010) having courageously attended from his treatment at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton.

Two ROTA 1960 Team Members are Rotarians:  Pat Baker, of the Rotary Club of Drury, was formerly on the District 9920 World Community Service and New Generations Committees; and Douglas Day, of the Rotary Club of Pencarrow, is District 9940 Rotary Foundation Alumni Sub-Committee Convenor.  Both Pat and Douglas have received Paul Harris recognition. 


The concept of ROTA began in New Zealand as a District project to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Rotary, through the vision of Dr Ralph Vernon, President of the Rotary Club of Auckland 1953-1954. Five New Zealand ROTA groups travelled across the world: the first in 1955 to the UK; the second in 1958-1959 to Rotary districts in the Pacific states of the USA and Canada; the third in 1960-1961 to India and Ceylon ; the fourth in 1962 to Japan; and the fifth in 1963-1964  to Malaysia. Return visits from counterpart districts followed in each case.

In 1963, details and guidelines on the ROTA exchange programme were formally presented to The Rotary Foundation for consideration as a world-wide programme, and Ralph Vernon was invited to Chicago, USA to help shape up how it might be applied internationally. Plans for Group Study Exchange were approved in January 1964. The programme has been subjected to some policy and procedural modifications throughout the years, but the primary aim of ROTA which became GSE, of helping to improve international understanding and peace through the exchange of promising young professional and business people, has not changed.

For further information on ROTA 1960, contact Douglas Day on +64 4 568 8088, or email

Good nutrition thanks to Rotary

The annual produce collect by the members of the Rotary Club of Drury Inc is truly inspiring, truly Rotary in Action.

This day involved members of the Club collecting produce from the local growers of the Franlin area from as early as 8am and delivering these nutritional goods to the Salvation Army Collection Depot at Manukau that same afternoon.
This charitable event has been on the Drury clubs agenda for the past 10 years. It was a true example of Rotary In Action.    The fresh produce consisted of; potatoes, cabbages, carrots, garlic, parsley, onion, tomatoes, cauliflower,  in fact any vegetable you can imagine with the exception of pumpkins were on the trucks over 12 tons of it! From there the produce was then distributed all over Auckland, adding to a healthy Christmas meal for many.
The Rotary Club of Drury should feel extremely proud of their efforts and the fact that they helped so many people over the Christmas period.


Students vs. The Machine: Lessons Learned in the Student Community following the Christchurch Earthquakes

By Sam Johnson

When massive earthquakes hit Christchurch, New Zealand in  February 2011,  university students wanted to help in the clean-up.  But established first response agencies were wary of these young volunteers and too harried to work with them, so they turned them away.  Sam Johnson, a student leader, would not take no for an answer.  He turned to Facebook and put out a call to his friends.  Within hours he had recruited both a team of workers and enough loaned equipment to go out and simply start “mucking out.”   Over the next several days, his social network spread the word and hundreds, then thousands of students stepped forward. 
They called themselves the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) and eventually fielded 9,000 volunteers, earning the respect and support of the local authorities along the way.  SVA continues its work today, as the Christchurch area experiences aftershocks and further quakes even now.  Because of the media attention SVA received, they were invited to Japan after the tsunami to work with a like-minded team of students and Johnson recently returned from presenting on the role of Youth in Disaster at the World Summit for Youth Volunteering in Colombia, South America. 
 In this article, Johnson shares his experience of being at the centre of the growing emergency response momentum and how he had to learn “volunteer management” instantly.  He describes how he used the tools of social media and how others can connect to young people through online networks.   He explains his strong vision for “the positive change that can occur if technology at our fingertips is harnessed by Gen-Y to build stronger community relationships.”

Introduction to Our Team

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Rotary is a part of the next chapter in the Cure Kids story

A message to Rotary from Cure Kids:
Of course Cure Kids wouldn't exist without Rotary in New Zealand and you have played an integral part in our journey to cure kids. Together we have raised the money to fund the researchers to cure children and collectively we are unstoppable!  Your presence meant so much to the Cure Kids team and we are more passionate than ever to reach and exceed the ambitious targets we set to cure kids.

Our new branding is sharper, smarter and more corporate with a logo and brand guidelines that are flexible to make it work well with any medium and with your current branding.  There are going to be many fantastic opportunities that benefit us both and we look forward to discussing these with you soon. A new look and a lot of new potential – we couldn’t cure kids without you!

Cure Kids is poised at the beginning of a great year – not only have we sharpened our identity and re-focussed our brand, but we are now the official charity of the New Zealand Rugby Union and the mighty All Blacks.   This achievement is as much your celebration as it is ours. Being the official charity of the New Zealand Rugby Union and the All Blacks is an enormous accomplishment. It shows how phenomenal your support has been through the years to get us to this point. Rotary has been with us as we’ve found our feet and you’ve never faltered in your support. Our association with the NZRU and All Blacks will grow the awareness of what we do and what your organisation does with us - funding the research to find the cure. 

Our new brand is an evolution, not a revolution. What we do – fund the research that is finding cures for illnesses that threaten our children’s lives – has not changed. We are simply telling that story better. Our mantra has shifted from our old catch-cry “it’s all about the kids” to “it’s all about the cure” for our kids. While we still turn research into hope, we also turn that hope into action. In fact, our purpose is in encapsulated our name. What do we do?

We work to Cure Kids!  Thank you Rotary. 

We established this charity to

There are many events that Rotary can take part in to help cure kids.  Rotary teams have featured in recent years in the $10 Queenstown Challenge - will your club enter a team in 2012? What about some of the other events - go to to find out about these.  To find out about the Rotary representaives on Cure Kids go to

Is your Rotary as mundane as cooking sausages - it needn't be!

Putting the Rotary Down Under magazine into a prospective Rotarian's hands is like holding gold to your club's PR efforts.

Without the knowledge of what goes on in the Rotary world, most Rotarians’ experience of Rotary in action is as mundane as cooking sausages and it is far better to talk to a prospective member about polio successes or ambassadorial scholars or your clean water project in the Pacific than ... sausages.  It is within the pages of Rotary Down Under that people get to understand what it means to be a Rotarian and to gain value from being a member.  It is from the stories of Rotary succeeding that good people become good Rotarians.

So, are you going for gold ... or just cooking sausages?

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards - done differently and well

RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award Programme) makes a huge difference in the lives of young people. Graduates aspire to become future leaders in Rotary clubs and communities.

Following the District 9940 Programme in February 2012, Gemma said, ‘Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have already taken steps to achieve my goals.’

The 9940 Programme caters for young people between the ages of 18 and 24 and will be coordinated by The Rotary Club of Plimmerton in 2013. Their job is to produce a budget, book the venue and transport, seek applications from Clubs and organisations and organise the speakers.

Former graduates, Rylarians, plan and manage the activities which are organised to challenge individual ability to lead and work with a team. Visiting speakers generously donate their time and talents.

Participants are challenged indoors and outdoors in many different ways.  They meet interesting people  and visit interesting places.
Zach said, ‘An enormous thank you. The inspiration that you provided and the leadership you gave will have a lasting impact on every single person who attended.’

Rachel Townsend said, ‘The Programme was absolutely amazing and so inspirational. Everything about it was perfect. Fantastic speakers and activities and all the crew were great.’

The venue was The Silverstream Retreat in Upper Hutt. The venue may change from time to time but the philosophy doesn’t. Its aim is to emphasise leadership and personal growth. It demonstrates Rotary’s respect and willingness to enable youth to excel. It encourages leadership of youth by youth and provides an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders. The 2013 Programme will run from 23-27 January.

By the last day the candidates are inseparable.

Last night of the proms

Saturday 29 October 2011 was a very special night for this group of revellers - who were glimpsed draping their adornments around the Watt Fountain in Wanganui, New Zealand, before the show.

This project was the culmination of a lot of hard work (and fun) by the members of the Rotary Club of Wanganui Daybreak.  The “Last Night of the Proms” concert is run every 2 years by the club with the express purpose of raising money for a youth organisation in the district.  It is something that requires a huge amount of teamwork from club members.

The beneficiary of this project was “Life to the Max Trust” based in Wanganui.  Life to the Max is a police development programme that started in 1999 after a group of community people became concerned about the increasing rate of youth offending.  This group identified the need for a preventative youth at risk initiative and involved key people and organisations to get the organisation formed.  This organisation now provides a highly respected and valued social service in the area, working with children and young people.

We were privileged to have attending the Defence Attaché and his wife from the British High Commission, the Mayor of Wanganui, our Rotary District Governor Bob Smith and his wife Margaret, as well as the show's production team and supporting club members.  The night was a tremendous success with the public of Wanganui, with all tickets sold and an amazing atmosphere of fun and laughter during the show.

The event was well supported by other clubs in our cluster, whose members attended the show.  As you can see from the photo, it has become a local custom to dress up for the show in patriotic colours and costumes – all adding to the atmosphere and enjoyment of the concert.

Our wonderful diva was Jennifer Little from Wanganui, who was supported by prize-winning Brass Wanganui, the Wanganui Highland Pipe Band, our Proms Choir, Evan Huirua and Jodi Mars.  Also taking part were Sharyn Underwood's dancers, 4 x 2 singing group, Evan's brother Gary, Keiron Smith playing the cornet so beautifully and, as usual, the fantastic support of members of AMDRAM Theatre and the Friends of the Royal Wanganui Opera House was critical.

The production team has now announced that the proceeds from the night amounted to NZ$13,000 and a presentation made to Life to the Max Trust.

As well as supporting our charity, the concert also supports and benefits local talent and organisations - giving them both the opportunity to perform on stage and by financially supporting and encouraging them.

As a club we are absolutely delighted with this result and encourage other clubs to “have a go” at a project such as this.  The public profile was huge and very positive for the Rotary brand.

Pictorial Dictionaries are as popular as ever

Some of the students receiving pictorial dictionaries from the Rotary Club of Porirua Sundown

Monday, 9 April 2012

Fiji Floods - Press Release 10 April 2012


400 Emergency Response kits recently packed in Christchurch and Auckland, pre positioned in Fiji have provided immediate relief to thousands of people living on the Western side of the main island of Viti Levu in Fiji following the disastrous floods. In the past week some 450 kits affectionately known as ERKs have been distributed to the neediest by Rotary volunteers and their supporters. The relief effort in Fiji is being coordinated by their Civil Defence authority (DISMAC).

ERKs being packed

In addition to the ERK’s, buoyed on by a substantial grant from Rotarians and the public of New Zealand, over 900 food parcels have also been distributed to evacuation centres and to people who remained near to or in the flood sodden dwelling place. The work is to continue throughout this week until Rotary is satisfied that the immediate response effort is complete. It is then Rotary Fiji will divert its attention to the second response phase supporting the fragile education and health sector. Many schools have lost buildings, the infrastructure is being sorely tested and Rotary will work with schools to respond the their greatest need, most likely replacing their sodden text and library books, furniture and other equipment essential for getting schools back to their regular routine. Village health centres also need help to replace supplies.

Where possible,  Rotary will support the local business community by purchasing goods locally as they have done with their food parcels which are sufficient to feed a family of 4 for one week. Rotary New Zealand’s spokesperson Stuart Batty acknowledges the immediate response from Government through Minister McCully’s quick response to provide financial support to it and other New Zealand NGO’s responding to the Fiji situation.

Rotary New Zealand’s appeal details assisted by Westpac Bank and PayPal can be found on or donations can be sent to PO Box 20309, Christchurch 8043.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Emergency Response Kits being delivered during the Fiji Floods

Click here for information about ERK's  and how to donate to help replensih the stiocks used so there are enough on hand for the next disaster.

5 April NEWS:

Pre positioning ERK’s in Fiji has enabled us to continue to provide rapid response.
MFAT have agreed to fund the replacement of 200 ERK’s’
We will be restocking in coming weeks and appeal to clubs [and other supporters] to send donations for ERK’s as well as food packs. Details on our website.

Embracing change and revitalising

As Rotarians embrace change and revitalise Rotary in their clubs and districts, there are some outstanding examples of how change has made a positive difference.   The cover story of April issue illustrates how Rotary is increasingly including the younger generation into their clubs, and the article immediately following this shows how examining how the club does things can reenergise their membership and make the club more welcoming to new members.  The Rotary Down Under magazine is on-line at

Click here for the latest newsletter

Fiji Floods - news on 3 April

Update:  Western Division 12.30pm Tuesday 3 April 2012

Rotary has been distributing food to specific centres and areas having been directed by DISMAC to do so.

In the main the distribution until today has been food.

The food packs support a family of 4 for up to one week.

Emergency Response Kits (ERK’s) distribution has now commenced in earnest to those areas not previously accessible by road.

Distribution is being managed using the template established in January.

Distribution to evacuation centres as follows:

Food packs to following schools 530 in total (larger families given more than one pack)

Andrews Primary School                                                158 families
Nadi Muslim                                                                    60 families
PWD depot Navakai                                                        12 families

Lovu Sangam School                                                    28 families
Vitogo District School                                                   18 families
Vitogo Hall                                                                    12 families
Vitogo village Centre #2                                                    6 families
Drasa Muslim Primary                                                     20 families
Drasa Primary School                                                       3 families
Private house behind Drasa Primary School                      3 families
Lautoka Primary School                                                  22 families

ERKs distribution commenced today

Sigatoka – (today 03/04)

Semo Village                                                    50 ERKs
                                                                        20 food packs
Emuri village –                                                  10 ERKs
Indications are that over next few days our ERKs stocks may be exhausted.
Prior to :   788 in Lautoka, 141 Suva
260 ERK’s have been signed out from  Lautoka. today
In addition clothing has been called for and 22 large cartons held in Lautoka have been distributed.

Rotary New Zealand is funding food parcels.

Rotary New Zealand will replenish ERK’s stock.

Rotarians of the Rotary Club of Lautoka distributing food parcels.  $40  feeds a family of 4 for one week.

ShelterBox deploys to aid Fiji flood victims

ShelterBox New Zealand has deployed a response team to work with the Rotary Club of Suva East to coordinate a response to the heavy flooding that has hit the South Pacific Islands of Fiji. A ShelterBox Response Team, comprising, Lyndon Tamblyn (NZ) and Sally Fletcher (NZ) will fly out to assess the needs and facilitate the importation and distribution of emergency aid.
SRT Lyndon Tamblyn (NZ) in Suva, November 2011 demonstrating the ShelterBox equipment

With a state of emergency declared in the West of the island nation, some 12,000 people are currently housed in evacuation centres, and nearly 3,000 households affected thus far. Although the rains eased over the weekend, the threat posed by the approaching Cyclone Daphne gives cause for grave concern.
ShelterBox International Director, Lasse Petersen said,
“We are consulting with several key players, including Rotary in Suva, DISMAC (Fijian disaster management), The Red Cross and the New Zealand Government to coordinate an appropriate and rapid response.