March District Bulletin

As we approach the last quarter of this Rotary year, I reflect on the challenges - and the OPPORTUNITIES - this year has thrown at us. It has been a year unlike any other. Although we haven’t faced the prolonged lockdown of last year, we’ve learned to live with uncertainty and, sometimes, disappointment. But on balance we are all so grateful that we live in this country with a government and public health direction that gives us a freedom envied by the rest of the world.
Rotary International have provided guidelines for the way Rotarians around the world are expected to conduct events and meetings. We in Zone 8 (Australia and New Zealand) have advised the RI Board that we plan to continue to meet according to our countries’ jurisdiction, while putting a number of risk management processes in place. There is a detailed article explaining this within this Bulletin.
I know how disappointing the necessary postponement or cancellation of several events has been.  South Wairarapa’s large Martinborough fair was postponed in March, with an expectation of holding it on 10 April. I know that Wanganui Daybreak’s Kite Day was cancelled after much anticipation and planning, as was Rotary Club of Wellington’s Jumbo Tennis. There have been a number of others. We’ve learned to be resilient and accept the situation we’re in, but it does have an impact on the way we’re able to fundraise or provide much anticipated community activities – impacting our ability to give back to our communities and wave the Rotary flag. We were however very blessed to be able to have our District Conference this month. Photos of this event will be soon coming.
I’ve almost completed my Club visits now – with only two Taranaki Clubs not visited as yet, thanks to level 2 lockdown recently. Hopefully there’ll still be an opportunity to meet.
Our Centennial Baton Relay is on its way through the District! Starting in Wellington during the week, today a group of around 30 Rotarians carried it, along with a 100 Years in Rotary banner, on a three hour walk along the Hutt River bank. They attracted interest and congratulations from locals. For those who attended conference we were luck to see it there. Other networks will organise activities too. We want communities throughout the District to be involved so please contact Lionel Nunns to discuss opportunties.
As part of our centennial projects I’d like to draw your attention to the Car Numberplate project run by Feilding Club and described elsewhere in this Bulletin. This is a great way for Clubs to fundraise (without threat of COVID interruption) and for us to advertise Rotary to the world. I encourage all Clubs to take part in this opportunity.
Other centennial projects – Mana Tangata, Give Every Child a Future and the Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital (newly named Te Wao Nui - The Great Forest of Tāne) continue to need our support. It’s been great to see so many fundraising activities around the District with these projects as their priority.
Despite the challenges we really are continuing to make a difference in our local communities and further afield.  Let’s continue to focus on growing Rotary so we can continue, into the next century, to make an impact and change lives as proud Rotarians.
Nga mihi
DG Gillian

The 9940 District Conference: A Brief

Our Conference last weekend celebrated our centenary and focused on future proofing ourselves for the next 100 years and beyond, while enjoying a taste of the beautiful Wairarapa.   
At Cobblestones on a beautiful Friday evening we were welcomed by the South Wairarapa Mayor, enjoyed local food and beverages, were entertained by the Kuranui Kapahaka group and the Masterton South Rotary Choir, the Centennial Baton was passed from the Wellington / Hutt Valley networks to Rangitikei Clubs - all setting the scene for the weekend ahead. 
Saturday morning was introduced by DG Gillian as focusing on Change in our Clubs and in our Communities.  We were challenged by some provocative and innovative thinking about how our Clubs need to change by Mark Huddlestone, writer of Creatures of Habit.  A panel of representative Clubs shared their ideas about membership growth and retention and was extremely well received. Dr Paul Wood’s harrowing story of his experiences in prison and his personal growth challenged us to consider “What’s our prison?”  What’s holding us back from moving forward to a better Rotary future. Eva Hartshorn-Sanders, a former Rotary Peace Scholar presented valuable research on the face of Rotary.  Carterton Mayor Greg Lang told us about the changing Carterton community – its challenges and opportunities. Martin Bosely told a wonderful story about how he has changed lives through his Gate to Plate work in Rimutaka Prison. The recurring theme throughout the morning of change for the better left us all inspired.
Saturday afternoon saw delegates enjoying a range of activities around the Wairarapa before coming together in the evening, dressed to the nines in outfits to reflect the decades each Club was chartered in.  What a colourful way to celebrate our centenary!  Steve Carlin crooned the songs of yesteryear while we dined, then Good as Gold had us all on our feet dancing to their fabulous music.  Who said Rotarians didn’t dance!
Sunday morning highlighted our wonderful Rotary centennial projects – Rotary Give Every Child a Future, Trees, trees, trees, the Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital.  Then we were reminded of the programmes at the base of Rotary – End Polio Now and our wonderful youth programmes. Deepak Kapur, Chairman of India National PolioPlus Committee highlighted the Indian success story in eliminating polio. Professor Michael Baker brought us to our own back door as he painted the current COVID situation and linked it to Rotary’s work with polio in his presentation Our year of beating Covid-19:  What we have learned and what it means for the future. Then PDG Martin Garcia presented us all with a challenge to become involved in supporting the COVID inoculation rollout within our own communities, as is happening in other countries. Rotary’s support of inoculating against disease through polio, and Rotary Give Every Child a Future in the Pacific can be continued as COVID vaccinations are delivered in our own communities.    
We awarded prizes and acknowledged commitment to Rotary. 
In all, a weekend of fun, learning, challenge and sharing. As PDG Marion Johnston commented on facebook, ‘We left the Wairarapa informed, inspired and entertained”! Mission accomplished by the Conference organisers.
Photos are currently being processed and will be available on our Facebook Page after Easter. To find them please visit

Rotary International Meetings And Our Response & Plan To Look After Our Members (PLEASE READ FOR EVENT PLANNING).

Recently, Rotary International recommended that districts and Rotary and Rotaract clubs meet virtually, cancel, or postpone meetings and for members to closely examine personal circumstances, including any health issues, when you consider travel and participation in events.
The Zone 8 District Governors and Governors-Elect have met and considered this situation and advice in light of our circumstances, as has 9940 more intricately. The following was considered:
The Rotary International Board’s position is that “Australia, New Zealand, and some Pacific Island nations have done an admirable job managing the pandemic and the threat may not seem as severe as everywhere”.
The Board’s view as a humanitarian organisation at the forefront of fighting disease worldwide—including COVID-19— Rotary International is obligated to follow guidance from the World Health Organization. (WHO)
To that end the policy to limit travel and apply a consistent approach to meetings and gatherings is directed at Rotary’s commitment and responsibility to lead in the global effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The guidance from WHO through its recommendations is about containment.  Australia, New Zealand and most of the Pacific nations have gone past containment to following the very hard path of elimination.
This is recognised by WHO and there have been a number of positive comments by WHO officials of the effectiveness of our regional strategy.
However WHO has had to balance its advice because many large countries have rejected elimination as a strategy In New Zealand, Dr Collin Tukuitonga, a public health expert from the University of Auckland, (on RNZ Morning Report) commented specifically on this issue and said:
 “New Zealand's strategy is entirely appropriate for our circumstances.  Some of the nuances in the WHO message are lost on some people, they're not saying absolutely don't do... I think in New Zealand we have a very strong strategy that's proven to work .... (and) ...the WHO advice doesn't really apply to New Zealand.
He continued the “ ...WHO (advice)  is not the final word on the matter, each country will need to make up its own mind about what's appropriate at the local level."
The Zone 8 District Governors and Governors-Elect have met and considered this situation.
The advice to Clubs and Rotarians in the District 9940 is:
  1. Rotary’s key message of “preventing the spread” must remain at the fore front of our public image in our communities.
  2. Our position is guided by our law, our community expectations and ensuring that our position remains in touch with the communities where ‘contain and eliminate’ is the high price paid to achieve beyond that possible in other countries that are forced to ‘live’ with community spread; AND
In continuing our work, during our centenary year, we must set the absolute best example on preventing spread and to that end the following settings have been established:
  • We will follow our public health controls and advocate those controls, even if voluntary, such as QR code scanning and Bluetooth tracking.
  • We will remain vigilant and continue to support any of our very different efforts that are the basis of our countries’ jurisdictional and legal settings on containment and elimination.
  • So long as elimination is the price our region pays for the extra benefit we have through elimination, we will respect the effort and sacrifice that has been and continues to be made to maintain elimination – to do otherwise risks damage to Rotary’s public image in our countries and sets us apart from the standard that WHO has had to adopt in its approach of ‘living’ with community spread.
  • We will advocate strongly in favour of vaccination. Vaccination is not a complete solution if there is community spread, as is shown from the US CDC’s advice. Like the measles, the risks with COVID will remain.  This is because there will always be a proportion of the community that, for various reasons, remain unvaccinated and the vaccine may not be completely effective as the virus mutates.
  • We will organise our meetings to, in the strictest sense, follow the public health settings as issued by each country.
  • If a jurisdiction’s public health settings are restrictive in relation to in-person meetings, then the only acceptable response is to implement those restrictions.  To this end, any meeting should be organised with a health and safety and risk management plan ensuring the District’s version of the RI Crisis Management plan is part of that plan and finally:

At all meeting attendees should be informed that both Rotary in New Zealand or the Pacific and Rotarians and guests rely on the public health settings and health and safety plans. 
If you have an event coming up please ensure you follow through with the directions above.
Water & Sanitation were the themes for this month and as the beginning of the month brought with it the need to wash our hands and sanitise with Alert Level 2 Conditions. 
Our work over the last few years globally has helped bring water to thousands of in-need people providing them both resources to drink and also to clean. Although the world is a little more insular and inward looking than it was a few years ago, Rotary will continue to provide wherever possible to those in need living "Service Above Self".
In health we have also been working with the COVID vaccinations. To learn more please click here.
Waikanae Rotary are bringing a model rail exhibition to the Kapiti coast in April. For more information about what is happening have a look here.

R100 Baton Event
District 9940 has obtained a Rotary 100 Baton with the aim of as many areas the district as possible holding a running or walking event with the baton to help celebrate 100 years of Rotary in New Zealand.
On Sunday 14 March the first of these events was a 10 km walk along the Hutt River trail from Avalon Park to Trentham Memorial Park, finishing with coffee and a bit to eat at the Fig Tree café in Upper Hutt. The day turned on perfect weather and about 30 Rotarians from 6 different clubs turned out in full force wearing Rotary attire. The route of the Hutt River Trail has Rotary connections as it was developed as a Rotary Project in conjunction with Hutt City Council. Rotary clubs have done planting along the trail including a Totara Grove.
The next event involved primary school children and was held at the Greytown Rugby Club grounds at 3.45pm Friday 19 March on the day that District Conference begins. It will be an Anne Hare Challenge. The Challenge was to try and beat the NZ Best run by a NZ Woman of 5.44 (5 minutes and 44 seconds). Anne Hare held this record since July 1986.  It is a lot of fun and exciting to watch a relay in action.
District Governor Gillian Jones would love to see other Rotary 100 Baton events held in other areas of the district. Please contact Gillian if you are keen to hold an event and she will get the baton to you.
Wednesday 12 May, 2021
5.45 for 6.00pm
Mana Tangata 
People of Action
Rotary Clubs in New Zealand and the South Pacific
Book launch 
The Rotary 100 
Pop up Exhibition
Miharo Wonder
100 years of Alexander Turnbull Library 
Special viewing
National Library of New Zealand
Molesworth St 
Fantastic opportunity to help raise some funds and celebrate the Centenary Year: Licence Plate Fundraisers!!

For moe information please contact Jack Cranston about how you can potentially use this fundraiser to help make a difference.
Innovative Young Minds (IYM) Online 2021 is an exciting new virtual programme that would not be possible without the support of Rotary Clubs throughout New Zealand. Founded by Rotary Hutt City and Hutt City Council in 2017, IYM offers young women in years 11 and 12 the opportunity to learn about the wide range of research and career opportunities available in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and high-tech manufacturing). IYM’s programmes are only open to young women, because females are underrepresented in the STEMM sector and we want to change this. 

IYM’s goal is to create future industry leaders and innovators, so it was only appropriate that we lead by example. When IYM’s 2020 residential programme was cancelled due to Covid-19, our team quickly created a one-week programme that exposed women to science and technology content in the most engaging way possible. We did this through:

- Virtual tours of laboratories and other spaces in universities, Crown Research Institutes, and businesses.
- Interactive sessions where researchers and innovators showcased their research and work.
- Hearing form inspiring career panels led by women working in STEMM.
- Hands-on science and technology activities.
- Team building and networking sessions.
- An Innovation Challenge where participants worked in teams led by industry expert mentors.
No one could have anticipated how successful the programme would be with 70 young women taking part and all of them attending the graduation session on the final day! Another 28 participated in the recorded IYM Online programme. This year we are running IYM Online 2021 in the first week of the April school holidays and already we have received over 150 applications for 100 spaces from all corners of New Zealand. 
Clearly there is a need for this programme, and we are incredibly excited to be reaching such a wide group of young women. As well as promoting the amazing opportunities in STEMM, we are also educating future industry leaders about the role of Rotary and the incredible work it does.   
“It was really cool to meet lots of young girls who had a passion for STEMM. I thoroughly enjoyed the programme and it was fascinating to listen to so many interesting talks from different people!”
Vidushi Tandon, Year 11, Sacred Heart College

If your club would like to support this exciting initiative, the cost of sponsorship is only $230.00. Please email if you can assist.  Your club could change the course of a young woman’s future!

Three moving stories of adversity overcome.

Three moving stories of adversity overcome were presented at the Rotary Club of Port Nicholson’s Goalsetter Awards ceremony held in Parliament’s Banquet Hall on Wednesday 10 March.
The Goalsetter Awards are presented annually to tertiary students who have faced and overcome significant hardship or adversity in their lives and have gone on to achieve their goals. The awards carry a scholarship of $3,500 each.
Ainsleyana Puleiata tore her left ACL ligament playing rugby and then again playing netball but has bounced back to make the NZ under 21 netball squad. She was the chief carer for her family during lockdown with her mother at the bedside of her new baby who has heart problems and Down’s syndrome. She still completed her degree in health, worked part time, coached young athletes, and helped at her church. She says she learned resilience and perseverance.  
Preston Lyons’ parents cared for two severely handicapped children as well as their own. In 2017 Preston’s promising career was ended by a car crash which left him struggling physically and mentally. He cried every day with the struggle of being alive but jobless. Treatment by a psychologist led to a return to university to study psychology and this year he will undertake studies at Honours level. He has a special friend with autism whom he helps through IHC’s friendship programme.
Wesley Tanuvasa was working towards a career in investment banking, but in 2019 his father had a stroke and went into care, his sister left the family, and his mother died. The family had no income and large debts. Wesley became the family breadwinner as well as taking the physical rehab of his father. He took a job as a tutor, continued to study, including at summer school and this year he will finish his commerce degree and will be looking for an internship in finance.  
Click Here To See The Photos of The Event.

The raffle was drawn on and the following lucky individuals won the luck of the draw!

1st Prize: A 2 Day Get Away in Premier Luxury from the Greenmantle Estate Boutique Hotel - Luke Qin

2nd Prize: A Weekend and Dinner for 2 at the James Cook Hotel - Peter Halsted

3rd Prize: A Facial and Beauty Treatment From The Spa Nomad - Ian Prisk

4th Prize: A Hamper of Goodies valued at $200 - Geoff Eades

5th Prize: 1x 500g of Pouatu Manuka Honey & 1x 350g Jar of Pouatu Bush Honey - Peter Lawson

We would just like to also take this opportunity to thank every Rotarian who entered the draw.
Note from Acting District Bulletin Editor
Following a LARGE amount of late entries this edition was delayed. The next edition will be available from the mid April. Please get send all stories here by the 11th of April.
Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.
102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7