Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Putaruru Rotary organizes its own mini “Taniwha” event

Kara Mann and family at the Lake Karapiro section Little Waipa Reserve  
On Saturday November 22, the Rotary Club of Putaruru, NZ is organizing a new event hosting a biking and walking event on the Waikato River Trails.

Norm Barker toyed with it for a while before he approached the club with the idea: “There are more and more people getting out there doing bike trails, so I thought why not attract these people to our beautiful district?”

After making contact with the Waikato River Trails Trust, it was decided to run with the idea. Initially we had trouble finding a suitable date and kept pushing it back as it seemed to clash with other events. We now selected a date - set in stone - and a project team was formed. Working together with the Waikato River Trails Trust, they are now in charge of organizing the event. The aim of this new event is to attract people to the area, share the superb landscape of the Waikato River and surroundings. The purpose is to attract people in such a way that they want to explore more of the area and come back. We believe sharing the area with people outside our district will attract people and become beneficial to the local economy.

“The Taniwha” event celebrates the endeavours undertaken by the Waikato River Trails Trust over the past 11 years, culminating in around 100 km of top quality trails, most of it on previously inaccessible land along the mighty Waikato River, so there is plenty to explore.

Putaruru Rotary’s leisurely 21 km cycle or the 10.5 km walk start at 9am at the Little Waipa Domain car park on Horahora Road, Tirau. The finish for both events is around 3pm at the same car park.

The trail includes boardwalks, swing bridges and great views of Lake Arapuni. After the event we have a hearty lunch planned to encourage meet and greet between Rotarians alike. 

For more information visit or email  Bookings need to be made via this email before October 30. 

The Putaruru Rotary contact is Boele de Vries / +64 21 506 286.

We have bigger plans for future years, but because we have never organized such an event, we wanted to keep it a small project, learn from it and get the right formula.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Many hands make light work

The Rotary Club of Hawera, NZ had a working bee on the July 16 in conjunction with the Te Rangatapu Trust at the local Ohawe Beach to plant native plants to enhance the Waingongoro River.

The river has a swimming hole which is very popular in the summer while its populations of brown and rainbow trout draw fishermen from around Taranaki.

This area is also considered a key native ecosystem by the Regional Council for its significant indigenous biodiversity.

Teamwork meant that 60 young and not so young helpers from all sectors of the community planted 380 plants. Native plants included Toetoe, Purei, Taupata, Cabbage Tree, Karaka, Corokis, Akeake, Broadleaf and Totara. These plants will help restore the native vegetation cover to a degraded part of this river system and bring back native birds to the area.

The Ohawe Progressive Association and the Te Rangatapu Trust supplied tea, coffee and a sausage sizzle which were greatly appreciated by the volunteers.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Rotary Spring Step Out for the Well Foundation

With all the hype about Auckland’s booming property market in NZ, here’s your chance to stroll past the city’s latest multi-million dollar housing development, with priceless sea views to boot.

The inaugural Spring Step Out event will be held on Sunday October 12 offering an outstanding walking route which begins at Long Bay College at 8:30am and heads through the Long Bay Regional Park, right up to Piripiri Point above the Okura River, then return to Long Bay College, where a sausage sizzle and cold drinks will be waiting.

The full distance to the turnaround point at Piripiri Point and back is 13 km, but other turnaround points give walkers the option of 6km, 8.5km, or 11km distances.

The Spring Step Out will support the Well Foundation to raise funds for an Ultrasound Procedural Training Unit which will become the first national teaching facility of its kind for medical staff. The unit will use mannequins that have life-like anatomy to help specialists train staff in ultrasound guided medical procedures.

Rotary Browns Bay is organising the event and hopes to attract 500 to 1000 people to take part in the walk. From the proceeds of entry fees, they are aiming to raise between $10,000 and $20,000 towards the purchase of the $125,000 unit. Sponsorship from Todd Property Group and Bayleys Real Estate will cover the general running costs to allow proceeds from the event to go towards the unit.

Browns Bay Rotary President, Tony Hooks, is pleased to support the foundation’s fundraising project and at the same time hold an enjoyable event for the entire community.

“The Well Foundation’s objective of boosting health and wellness in Auckland’s north and west aligns well with our goals for the event; to encourage people to lead an active and healthy lifestyle and get out to enjoy the fresh air and outdoors,” explains Tony.  “With beautiful scenery, stunning views and walking distances to suit every fitness level and age, this is a day for everyone to be a part of.”

Well Foundation CEO, Andrew Young, is pleased to be chosen as the recipient charity of the event, particularly because it is family-friendly and will hopefully appeal to the wider community. “We’re thrilled to be the chosen charity for the Rotary Spring Step Out and excited to be working alongside Rotary Browns Bay for this incredibly exciting inaugural event,” says Andrew.

Secure parking will be available in the College grounds for a gold coin donation to the College.  Please note that no dogs are allowed into the regional park.          

To register for the event or more information visit To keep up with the latest news and updates, follow the event at