Monday, 21 May 2012

Understanding foreigners?

Bringing the community together and recognising the community's achievers

It is hard to think of many projects that have such a wide reach as the Howick Community Awards.  These recognise those people in the greater Howick community that achieved excellence in their field of endeavour and made a contribution to the community.   The Awards helped to bring the areas of Botany East Tamaki, Howick and Pakuranga together as one enlarged Howick Community as defined by the new civic boundaries and to raise Rotary’s profile.  This was a project of the combined Rotary Clubs of Howick, Botany East Tamaki, Half Moon Bay, Pakuranga and Somerville Howick.

There were more than 60 nominations for the five award categories and the Award recipients were recognised at a sell-out gala dinner on Tuesday 1 May at the Pakuranga United Rugby Club.  The five categories were:

Citizen Award for outstanding service to the community or volunteer organisation

Employee Award for outstanding service or contribution to any organisation

Arts Award for an emerging or established artists

Young person award (16-25) for achievement or potential in study, work or training

Environment award for a person or organisation that has made a meritorious contribution to the environment

Local hero(s) award for voluntary service in the community
Publicity for the awards was through extensive use of posters and flyers in the community such as libraries, CABs etc plus community newspapers and community radio.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Provisional Rotary Club of Christchurch New Horizons’ First Service Project

Nineteen supporters of the Provisional Rotary Club of Christchurch New Horizons, NZ got their first taste of Rotary in action on April 21.

Unable to tackle the task on their own, 83 year-old residents Gwen and Frank Sparks who, like many others in the garden city, take pride in having a bountiful vegetable garden, were overjoyed with the offer of help from some of Christchurch’s newest members of the provisional Rotary club. 

Armed with wheelbarrows, forks, trowels and secateurs, New Horizons members and friends got stuck in and removed two trailer loads of vegetation from the overgrown section in South Brighton. They also lifted dahlia bulbs for next season, sprayed paths and driveways, and harvested two buckets of grapes and three buckets of potatoes - all in a mornings work.

Nicky Hudson and Matt Grace hard at work

The first community project for New Horizons (which has been going for less than two months) was a great success, with members taking the opportunity to make a difference in earthquake ravaged Christchurch and got to know each other better.

Service Projects Leader for New Horizons Barbara Prentice commented, “not only did we give Frank and Gwen a very tidy garden, but they also had a lot of fun and enjoyed the whole experience.”
To ensure that Saturday’s efforts were not in vain, Age Concern has now been contacted “and we are hopeful they will be able to keep the place up to scratch now that we have cleared it,” Barbara added.
The Rotary Club of Christchurch New Horizons was developed as a direct result of the ongoing earthquakes, with community services stretched to capacity, many people just want to do something to help, and new business hubs are replacing damaged buildings across the city.

Unique to Christchurch, Rotary New Horizons is specifically designed to cater to active career professionals and business owners who are looking for the opportunity to help in the community at the same time as having a forum for professional development and business networking. More information is available at

Martia Lowe clearing the section

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Rotary Buys Lunch - RC Hutt City targets entrepreneurs

Like most Rotary clubs, the Rotary Club of Hutt City has members with a wide range of skills across a breadth of vocations.  This gives rise to an opportunity for these Rotarians to put their extensive business knowledge, influential networks and expertise to the test.  They will be doing this through an innovative project where they will connect entrepreneurs with Rotarians who can provide valuable expertise and connections, which can be the difference between success and failure for new businesses.  This will be achieved at a series of lunches – called: Rotary Buys Lunch.

The need is clear; New Zealand has fallen from near the top of the OECD list of strong economies into the bottom half and for New Zealand to grow so communities can thrive a massive increase in successful export-focused businesses is needed.  To achieve this is a community effort  and the club would like to see some of these new businesses started in the Hutt. 

This initiative will start with a three month pilot.  The concept was developed by Brock Starnes, an Ambassadorial Scholar from the United States who studied a master of commerce at Victoria University during his time as a Rotary Scholar.

Entrepreneurs should visit

Website for the Rotary Club of Hutt City Inc:

23 Years of Women in Rotary

It is now 23 years since Rotary were first admitted to Rotary as Rotarians.  Women now hold positions at almost every level of Rotary from club members to club presidents to District Governors, Rotary International Directors and  as Trustee of the Rotary Foundation. is an interesting site that includes a potted history of women in Rotary.

The website  is firstly dedicated to  Rotary but is a social network for women in Rotary around the world.

Here is the NBC News broadcast on the evening of May 4, 1987 announcing the start.