Sunday, 27 April 2014

Newmarket and St Johns Rotary Clubs take on Motutapu Bridge Project

Newmarket and St Johns Rotary Clubs have been working together recently to further the Motutapu Bridge Project.

In partnership with Motutapu Restoration Trust, DOC, local Iwi and Auckland Tourism there is the potential to create the equivalent of another Tiritiri Matangi on Rangitoto – Motutapu Islands.

To achieve this and to complete the Motutapu Loop Track, the Motutapu Stream Bridge needs to be built. The bridge is a key element to opening up public access to the tracks on the Island.

Consent to build the bridge has been received from Auckland City Council.  $10,000 has been committed by Newmarket and St Johns Rotary Clubs. We believe this important environmental project represents a great opportunity for Districts 9920 and 9910 to invest in their local community.

The following is an extract from the St Johns Rotary club bulletin of April 2014:

This week we were graced with the presence of the Honorable Christine Fletcher. Christine gave us some insight on the Motutapu Restoration project with which she has worked since its inception. Having worked Rotary since the start of the project, Christine was all compliments on the consistent contributions provided to the project by the Newmarket Rotary Club and numerous other Rotary clubs.
Since its creation, Motutapu has accounted for over 500,000 trees being propagated and planted on the island. Although some initial discouragement occurred with some stakeholders suggesting Aucklanders look to further locations for their recreation, this has been pursued as the closest sanctuary to Auckland.

Motutapu is an Island within eyesight of Auckland and therefore an ideal location for both conservation and recreation. They are currently pursuing regular Ferry transport to the island, an attribute that would certainly lend itself to increased numbers of visitors and therefore funding. 

The conservation potential of Motutapu is beyond any other location near Auckland. The island serves as a habitat for Takahe of which there are only a few hundred in existence as well as the Coromandel Kiwi. These rare birds are not cheap to introduce to the island with the kiwi costing about $35,000 each. These are but two of the 61 birds that contribute to the island’s impressive bird chorus.

Motutapu functions as a farm with all proceeds going to the Department of Conservations’ central funding pool for all its efforts nationwide. For this reason, alternative funding specific to Motutapu must be pursued. One source of funding is a mountain biking event with raised between 40 and 50 thousand dollars thanks in part to the efforts of over 500 volunteers (Rotarians included).
The history of Motutapu is as interesting as its diverse current uses. As Auckland’s largest farm it also served as a defense asset with its numerous tunnels. These tunnels could possibly provide additional tourist attraction if the funding to make them suitable is made available.

The uses and benefits of Motutapu Island are numerous and include both conservation and recreation. Christine made a note regarding the lack of government funding and the complete reliance on private funding to provide these valuable resources. As the walkway project goes forward we must consider why we are left to fund these efforts privately given their public benefits. Additional efforts will continue to be made in an attempt to acquire a regular ferry service.

Let us thank the Honorable Christine Fletcher for her work with the Motutapu Restoration Project as well as her insight into the future success of the project. We look forward to continuing to contribute to this project and to take advantage of the numerous conservation and recreation benefits that it provides.


To read an earlier article about the Motutapu Restoration Project go to:

Rotary donates dictionaries to Pentecost Primary Schools

The Rotary Club of Vanuatu Grassroots (RCVGR) based in Port Vila have donated dictionaries to two primary schools on the island of Pentecost in a recent visit to that part of the island by its club member, Pastor Shem Tema.

Pangi primary school on the south of Pentecost and Ranwas primary school on the eastern part of Pentecost. In receiving a dictionary each, both the Head Mistress of Pangi Primary School and Head Master of Ranwas Primary School were delighted for the generous assistance, and thank the Rotary Club of Vanuatu Grassroots for choosing their school as recipient of these dictionaries.

RCVGR is considering more donations to other rural schools in the future, particularly to assist students with their learning and, most significantly, to assist in the development of literacy in Vanuatu. A one dictionary per school is the beginning and RCVGR, based on monitoring and evaluating success of these dictionaries, may consider increasing quantity of dictionaries per school to suit where there is demand.

The Usborne Illustrated Dictionaries is a project developed in partnership with the Rotary International to support its goal to development of literacy worldwide. These dictionaries contain over 1000 superb color illustrations, friendly and simple English language making it easier to understand.


Rotary donates $100,000 from Carisbrook seat sales

Project follow up from the Otago Daily Times.  

From the remains of Carisbrook, dozens of Rotary volunteers removed 23,000 seats fixed by 42,347 nuts and sold them to hundreds of people and organisations from all over New Zealand.

That Carisbrook Rotary Project culminated in a $100,000 cheque being presented to Southern District Health Board chief executive Carole Heatly on Saturday.

Ms Heatly said the money had gone towards the children's ward facility, which now ''sets the bar for the rest of the hospital, and we want the rest of Dunedin Hospital to look as good as the Rotary Children's Ward''. Dunedin Rotary clubs, alongside those from Milton, Taieri and Mosgiel, worked on the project, which was expected to raise about $290,000 at its conclusion. In addition to selling seats, organisers were also inundated with people wanting to buy chopping blocks salvaged from the former ground's seats.

A $12,000 Weekend!

- By President Sue Gunn, Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise, NZ

Rotorua Rotarians and friends were out in force the weekend of February 22-23 for the annual Rotorua Lakeside Concert and the Rotary Global Swimarathon. The generosity of the community was evident with $12,000 being collected in one weekend!

The Lakeside Concert, held annually since 1997, has become the Rotorua community’s eagerly anticipated big night out together. On February 22 the free outdoor concert featured the best of Maori, classical and contemporary music, in a format accessible to every citizen of the region.

Rotorua Sunrisers and friends with their collection buckets at the Lakeside Concert, Village Green, Rotorua.

The concert appeals to just about everyone from the young to the old, from the classical buff to the swinging popsters to the romantic.

Rotorua is a breeding ground for talented singers and musicians. With its rich history of hospitality, Rotorua really knows how to turn on a party. This medium size New Zealand city punches way above its weight and loves to celebrate the diversity of its citizens.

Every year the Lakeside Charitable Trustees and Rotary Rotorua Sunrise select a worth charity for the annual ‘gold coin’ collection, and this year’s proceeds went to Te Whakaponu Trust to purchase a badly needed dialysis machine at Rotorua Public Hospital. Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise President Sue Gunn presented Philippa Wills of the Te Whakaponu Trust with a cheque for $8,140.

Then, on Rotary’s 109th anniversary February 23, Rotorua Sunrise Rotary held the Rotary Global Swimarathon, a community event at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre from noon to 2pm.

19 swimmers participated and they swam anything from 6 to 100 lengths each, achieving a grand total of 545 lengths with each length sponsored, that raised just over $3,000 for the End Polio Now! fund.

Swimmers included Rotorua MP Todd McClay and two of his children, along with Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick, Rotorua Sunrise members and other local swimmers.

We generated great publicity in Rotorua’s Daily Post pre and post event, promoted the Rotary Global Swimarathon on our website, community radio notice boards, Facebook posts, along with uploaded photo files to individual Facebook pages, likes and comments to get it out amongst members’ friends and networks. The event was a great success!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Wanaka Rotary put the Action in Rotary over Easter Weekend

As always, Easter was a busy time for Cromwell Rotary with Rotarians and friends contributing more than 1000 volunteer hours to local community events.

President Murray Kennedy prepares to enter the runway to guide a visiting aircraft after a departing Hercules

Activities ranged from selling High Country Salmon to locals in preparation for Easter; parking visiting aircraft at Warbirds over Wanaka; helping with gate duties at Highlands MotorSport Park; and showing people through Brewery Creek Tunnel DR560 in the Cromwell Gorge.
Bruce McMillan explains some of the instrumentation in the Tunnel

Thanks to the support of locals and visitors, Cromwell Rotary raised more than $8,000 for community projects.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Rotary Foundation Grant helps purchase Oximeters for Maternity Ward

Waitakere Hospital in West Auckland, NZ came to the West Auckland Rotary Clubs in NZ with a request. Could we please help fund oximeters for their Maternity Unit?

The non-invasive pulse oximeters diodes are usually attached to a baby’s fingertip and send out light pulses to measure the percentage of oxygenated blood that is circulating. They also measure the heart rate.

Oximeters are used mostly on babies who have had a difficult entry to the world and may not be getting enough oxygen. If babies remain unwell or develop respiratory diseases, they may be monitored for longer.

Waitemata District Health Board Midwife Manager Helen Ngatai emphasised, “staff are loving having an oximeter in each of the eight birthing units, rather than having to share the unit’s older oximeter”. She added, ”the increased number of oximeters means staff are able to monitor babies more closely and can give treatment quickly when required”.

The four local West Auckland Rotary Clubs - Waitakere, Kumeu, Henderson and New Lynn - with the assistance of a grant from The Rotary Foundation made a donation of $7,400 to purchase ten of these oximeters.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

East Coast Bays, IYE and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

On the 20th of February an intrepid crew of IYE students  from Finland , Austria ,Chile , Germany France, Argentina and a record number of Rotarian’s including DG Phil Ashton took on the Tongariro Crossing.

As in past years the Friday was spent testing out the slopes of Ruapehu in readiness for the big tramp the next day. Fine weather greeted us in National park and team of 15 struck out for the crater lake. Like in the past years the views were spectacular and the main problem encountered was making your water last. A dip at the hot pools at Taurangi eased the aching muscles. Saturday was not quite as nice as the gentle breeze ground up but the cloud cleared at the red crater and the emerald lakes to see what we had come to see and the rain kept away.

Superb food was supplied by our volunteers. Stephen Wheeler for his Lasagna of which he is making a name for himself and his work mates with some awesome home baking. A great weekend with a great bunch of Students and Rotarians in a stunning part of the country.
Attendees were – IYE – Emilia-Finland, Amir-Austria, Claire -France, Chiara Germany, Tomi – Argentina, Daniella- Chile

Rotarians – Stephen Wheeler, Monica Webb, Sean Harris , Steve Goeldner, Peter Garnett, Phil Ashton, Vivienne Rowell and friends Debs, Brigitte and Fiona.

More pictures here

Article thanks to the District 9910 Newsletter April 2014

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Vanuatu Literacy Project

This is a project initiated by our District Literacy Committee led by Murray Neighbour. NZ$79,200.00 was raised which has enabled Reading Books in

French to be purchased for 164 French speaking schools in the six provinces of Vanuatu. They were scheduled to arrive in Port Villa at the end of last month where they will be distributed by Read Pacific, Vanuatu Post and the Port Vila Rotary Club.

This is another example of a successful multi country / District / Club matching grant project with contributors from: 

  • 6 clubs from USA District 6930, Florida.
  • Bundaberg Rotary Club Australia.
  • 20 District 9910 Clubs, including Norfolk Island, Noumea, Takapuna North, Northcote Glenfield, and East Coast Bays.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Highbrook Rotary's Fun Run brings the community together


The “Fun Run” fundraising project achieved all its goals by bringing business together to help its community in a fundraising venture,  and to get to know each other better and support local business in this newly business park, $9,000 was raised.

Over 45 businesses contributed to the charity fundraiser’s success donating time prizes, food, water and help on the day. 320 local business employees participated in the  10k, 5k runs and 5k and walk, and many have asked that it be an annual event and open to their families as well;  which is now already being planned for next year.
Shown here left to right is next Rotary years club president Elizabeth Groenewegen, David Comery General Manager Waipuna Hotels and Conference Centres Major Sponsor and Joanne Hand Fundraising Officer for The  Middlemore Foundation with Highbrook Rotary President Richard Myhre.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Rotary - Solomon Islands Flood Appeal

NOTE:  This blog post will be updated with news as this comes to hand. 

Rotary New Zealand World Community Service is appealing jointly with Rotary Australia WCS for donations to assist with Emergency Response, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction for the thousands displaced in the devastating floods that swept across the Solomon Islands on 3 April 2014.
Donations may be made by cheque to:
RNZWCS Limited – Solomon’s Appeal
PO Box 20309
Christchurch 8543
or at any Westpac Branch
03 1702 0192208 01
or through other options posted on our website
Donations are tax deductible

Update as at 9 April 2014
from Stuart Batty

This disaster is looking like the biggest in the region since the Tsunami that struck Samoa in 2009.
Last night had long conversations with PDG Wayne Morris who is based in Honiara.
In short, there is also a desperate need for basics such as kitchen utensils.
There are none available in any of the stores there and people whilst they can cook on open fires have nothing to cook in. In fact there is little basic stock of anything available and if there were the people most affected have no money to purchase.
12,000 people in evacuation centres have nothing to return HOME to.
Chaos abounds in the sector with some agencies trying to shut others out. No coordination, no management. Just self interest.
I have been in touch with Rotary Australia World Community Service Limited overnight who have substantial DIK in most states and they will dispatch kitchen utensils etc. with urgency.
Have also been in touch with Rotary Australia’s AquaBox, their name for our Emergency Response Kit and we will coordinate with them.
We may also send ERKs from our pre positioned stock in Fiji.
Please continue to impress on your clubs that they should support Rotary in disasters such as this.

Updated Situation as 6 April 2014
There are a total of 19 confirmed deaths and an estimated 52,000 people affected across the Solomon Islands (population 515,870), around half of which are children.

In Honiara (pop. 64,609), there are 17 fatalities, 30 people missing and 12,000 affected. A multi-agency team continues to register people in 13 evacuation centres. The most populated shelters are in east Honiara, with over 3,500 people at Panatina Pavilion and around 1,000 at both the airport terminal and King George VI School. Initial food and water distributions have occurred, although there is urgent need for additional food, water, clothing, blankets, mosquito nets and cooking utensils.

In other areas of Guadalcanal (pop. 93,613), there are two confirmed fatalities and an estimated 40,000 people affected. River systems across the northwest, central and north of the island have flooded, destroying homes, damaging bridges and displacing families. There are also reports of landslides and loss of food gardens.

Other provinces are starting to report impacts, but there is still limited communication to many areas. In Makira-Ulawa (pop. 40,419), an aerial survey was conducted, with the Waihauru Bridge cut-off and reports of damage from a 6.0 magnitude earthquake two days ago. In Malaita (pop. 137,596), floods have destroyed houses and blocked roads. In Isabel (pop. 26,158), a landslide and flooding in Buala has resulted in two deaths, although it is unclear if these fatalities are included in total statistics.

Honiara International Airport has reopened to limited commercial flights as navigation lights are damaged and the domestic terminal is flooded.

The National Referral Hospital is open and accepting new patients. There are concerns flooded areas and contaminated water supplies will lead to increased risks of infection and outbreaks of water-borne and vector-borne diseases.
PDG Stuart J Batty QSM,JP
RNZWCS Limited (Rotary New Zealand)
PO Box 20309
Christchurch 8543
New Zealand
Ph/Fax 64 3 3599218
cellphone 027 2695615

Monday, 7 April 2014

Onetangi Beach Races on Waiheke Island a runaway success again

The Rotary Club of Waiheke Island organised another well-attended spectacular beach race meeting on March 2.
Where else would you find horses, ponies, trotters, tractors, wheelbarrows, children and Sealegs amphibious craft all racing on the beach, along with fashion and children’s events?
The Onetangi Beach Races 103rd event, in its 113th year, is a unique yet world-class event held on the magnificent shores of Onetangi Beach in Auckland, NZ’s Hauraki Gulf.
This is the major event on Waiheke Rotary’s calendar, and this exciting event is now run solely by Rotary on the island, requiring a huge effort from every member.
Its purpose is not only to raise funds, but also to provide a free fun day-out for the families of the community and visitors to the island while showcasing Rotary. This year it successfully raised in the order of three times last year’s profit.
The club could not manage without the appreciated support from friends in local groups, such as Waiheke Coastguard, Fire Service, Radio and various sports clubs to help run this epic event.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Rotary E-Club 9920 Francophone hosts Thailand-France Youth Exchange

Three Thai students with their French teacher and the
President of the Rotary E-Club 9920 Francophone Jean Louis Nguyen
As a partnership between the Lycée de l’Empéri in Salon de Provence, France and the Satit Kaset High School in Bangkok, Thailand the Rotary E-Club 9920 Francophone, helped by the Inter Country Committee France-Thailand (who has been doing this sort of exchange both ways for several years), allowed three young Thai students from Bangkok to stay three weeks with their French teacher in Salon de Provence, plus another week to visit Paris.
All three students spent those three first weeks in an 11th grade classroom, and all three have been staying in a different host family provided by the Rotary E-Club 9920 Francophone.
They have also visited beautiful Provence with their host families and, as they have had to get around all day long speaking French, get more accustomed to the French culture.
This partnership has already been going on for seven years, and it will most probably go on in the future, as young Thai students are increasingly keener about that sort of partnership between France and Thailand.

Savusavu bus shelters add valuable protection from the elements

Happy villagers in the completed bus shelter
Hot sun, torrential downpours and driving winds
Standing outside with the hot sun roasting you in Fiji is almost as bad as getting soaked by a torrential downpour, and if the wind is driving in, it is almost too much too bear. Until recently, all the elements can throw at you has been borne by Savusavu villagers waiting lengthy periods for the bus to come along. It did not matter whether those waiting were children to go to school, or seniors and ill villagers waiting to go to town for medical appointments or to the hospital for treatment, or for villagers to take their goods to town to sell at the market, the wait could sometimes be a real ordeal.
Not anymore. Villagers can now wait in safety and comfort, thanks to this ongoing project of the Rotary Club of Savusavu whose decision in 2012 to fundraise to build much needed bus shelters in and around the township of Savusavu has seen eight bus shelters constructed. The club has not gone it alone, as the funding for these and at least two more planned for 2014 has been possible thanks to a wonderful relationship with some overseas Rotary clubs, mostly from District 5370 in Alberta, Canada plus others in Australia and Auckland, NZ. Often these are valued as more than just bus shelters, as they have also been used for talanoa (local Fijian story-telling and conversation).
These are no ordinary bus shelters, as they are constructed to a specific cyclone standard and are a generous 17’x10’ or 14’x10’. The actual construction is a close partnership with the village involved. The Rotary contribution is: arranging the initial meeting with the Headman and Ratu (Chief) of the village; providing professionally drawn plans and all building materials and transport to site; supervising the project and then displaying a Rotary sign at the completed bus shelter acknowledging the contributing overseas Rotary club. The recipient village or school provides carpenters and general labourers, builder’s mix, building tools and equipment.
In typical island style, there is always a wonderful celebration of food during the build, often with the entire Savusavu Rotary Club at a special ceremony with speeches of thanks, more food, singing and dancing.

Letter of Appreciation for Emergency Response Kits sent to Vanuatu

Letter as sent to Stuart Batty, Director, RNZWCS Ltd (Rotary New Zealand):

G'day Stuart

The Director of NDMO, Shadrack Welegtabit,has asked that we send a note of
appreciation for the Emergency Response Kits provided by Rotary New Zealand.
I understand a mention should go to the Rotary Club of Otahuhu who packed
the kits and of course your Rotary colleagues in Port Vila and Luganville.

I have just returned from Santo, so saw first hand the quality and variety
of your relief items. In addition, the excellent plastic boxes that
protecting the materiel during transportation will also have a very useful
secondary life with the communities you are assisting in Santo.

The assessment mission identified, in the remote and isolated West Coast
2 communities, 16 families in Patmel and Wunavai and boarding school at
Selusia, for immediate assistance.
The school with nearly 100 pupils and teachers lost roofing and the
important school gardens were badly damaged.
The Rotary assistance, with other urgent supplies are being delivered to
these locations.
As they are remote,in fact several boat days away and expensive to reach,
our teams are using a Police launch.

It was mentioned when the Emergency Response Kits were handed over that
Rotary was thinking of pre-positioning in Vanuatu additional kits. This is
something very useful and would be warmly welcomed, if you inform NDMO, we
would again facilitate customs and duty exemptions. We would also added the
details to our in country emergency stock database.

The Rotary assistance was very welcome and much appreciated by Vanuatu.

On behalf of Director Shadrack and the NDMO team

Many thanks


Terry Lewis
Emergency Logistics Coordinator
National Disaster Management Office

More information:

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Solomons Disaster

Rotary in the Solomon Islands have requested help from New Zealand Rotarians
as they respond to the devastating floods of the past 24 hours.

Emergency non food items are desperately needed including shelter (tents)
and other basics for the many thousands who have lost everything after their
homes were swept away.

Rotary New Zealand have tents and emergency response kits on standy by and
have been advised by Rotary in the capital Honiara that a call from the
Solomon Island's National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is likely to
made following a state of emergency being called.

"Rotary is most often one of the first cabs off the rank in emergencies like
this" spokesperson Stuart Batty said. Working with local NDMO, they are able
to arrange through their own volunteers and supporters network an immediate
response. Rotary New Zealand through their website appeal for cash donations
to support the victims of this disaster.

About Rotary New Zealand
Rotary New Zealand (RNZWCS Limited) was registered on 11 December 2003 as a
limited liability company to foster confidence with all stakeholders by
governing its relationships and giving a clearer picture of its professional
approach. With the establishment of a formal Non Governmental Organisation
entity, it was granted full membership by the Council for International
Development in 2004 and is a member of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum. It has
Inland Revenue Charitable Status including Donee Status under Schedule 32 of
the Income Tax Act.

More information: